Finnish ferry with 331 passengers safely towed to the quay
A ferry that had run aground near the Finnish Åland Islands was safely towed to the quay on Sunday. The 331 passengers and 98 crew members had to spend the night from Saturday to Sunday on the Viking Line ship.
The more than 200 meter long ship Viking Grace ran aground on Saturday near the Åland Islands, a Finnish archipelago in the Baltic Sea. That happened just a few 100 meters from the ferry terminal in Mariehamn, the main town of the archipelago.
Tugboats towed the ship from the shallows to the harbor. Divers had already checked the ferry for any leaks on Saturday and determined that the people on board were not at risk.
The ferry had left Stockholm and would sail via Mariehamn to the Finnish city of Turku. The ship is believed to have been driven to the coast by strong winds, Viking Line chief executive Jan Hanses said earlier. Saturday it was very windy and there was a lot of rain. Several other ferry services were canceled due to weather conditions.
Viking Grace was built in 2012 and can carry 2,800 passengers, but due to the corona virus, only 331 people were on the ship on Saturday. So far, no damage to the ship has been identified. The Viking Grace will be brought to a yard for inspection in the coming days.
In September, another Viking Line ship ran aground. The MS Amorella also ran aground off the Åland Islands, a Finnish region made up of thousands of small islands. That area is notorious for its shallow waters and narrow passages. No one was injured in that incident.