Ferry with 330 passengers stranded on Finnish coast, possibly due to strong winds

A ferry from the Viking Line ferry company ran aground on the coast of the Finnish town of Mariehamn on Saturday afternoon. A strong wind may have caused the ship to go off course. The 331 passengers and 98 crew are not in danger, but have to spend the night on the ship.

The more than 200 meter long ship, the MS Viking Grace, sailed between the Finnish port city of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm on Saturday afternoon. The boat had to make a stopover in Mariehamn, but due to an unknown cause it became moored on the coast near the harbor.

Jan Hanses, the CEO of Viking Line, says to the Finnish broadcaster YLE that the ship was probably driven to shore by a strong wind. Divers did not find any leaks when checking the vessel.

The Viking Grace can normally accommodate more than 2,800 passengers, but due to the corona virus, there were only 331 people on the ship on Saturday. They will be evacuated in the course of Sunday.

In September, another Viking Line ship, MS Amorella, ran aground off the Alan Islands, a Finnish archipelago 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.

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