Stranded Finnish ferry with 331 passengers safely towed to the quay

A ferry stranded at the Finnish Åland Islands was safely towed to the quay on Sunday. The 331 passengers and 98 crew 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. This happened just a few 100 meters from the ferry terminal in Mariehamn, the main town of the archipelago.

Tugboats towed the ship from the shallow water to the harbor. Divers had already checked the ferry for any leaks on Saturday and determined that the people on board were not in danger.

The ferry had left Stockholm and was to sail to the Finnish city of Turku via Mariehamn. The ship was probably driven to the coast by a strong wind, Viking Line CEO Jan Hanses said earlier. On Saturday it was windy and there was a lot of rain. Several other ferry services had not sailed due to weather conditions.

Viking Grace was built in 2012 and can carry 2,800 passengers, but due to the corona virus, there were only 331 people on the ship on Saturday. No damage to the ship has been reported so far. The Viking Grace will be taken to a yard for inspection in the coming days.

In September another Viking Line ship ran aground. The MS Amorella also stranded near the Åland Islands, a Finnish region consisting 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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