Ferry with hundreds of passengers onboard runs aground

Elias Hubbard
November 22, 2020

Some 300 Viking Grace passengers deboarded in Mariehamn on Sunday morning after overnighting on the stranded ship that ran aground on Saturday afternoon off the coast of Mariehamn.

Aboard the vessel were 331 passengers and 98 crew, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP.

The Viking Line's "Grace", sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, hit rocks around 1415 pm (1215 GMT) shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

"The passengers will have to spend the night on board and disembark (Sunday)", the spokeswoman said.

Divers had inspected the hull of the vessel and the situation on board was "calm". The Viking Line, headquartered in Mariehamn, said no security risks were involved with Sunday's transfer trip to Turku.

Passengers aboard the MS Viking Grace have been told they'll be rescued Sunday
Ferry VIKING GRACE with 331 passengers aground, Finland VIDEO

"The ship's situation is stable".

Coast guard officials told Finnish media that the Viking Grace, a large vessel capable of carrying up to 2,800 passengers, was near the shore when for some reason it seemed to have floated towards land.

Commissioned in 2013, the shipping company on its website highlights the vessel's "modern" liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel system and a 24-meter-high rotor sail created to produce "thrust from wind".

In September, another Viking Line passenger ferry, the MS Amorella, also ran aground on the Aland Islands. Narrow passageways and shallow waters are a defining feature of the waters around the islands, making it a challenging area in which to operate big ships.

In 1997, an investigation found that the Estonia's bow door locks had failed in a storm.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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