Saturday 11/28/20
ACCIDENT

Viking Grace ferry runs aground in Åland archipelago

In September, another Viking Line vessel, Amorella, ran aground in another part of the same archipelago.

The Viking Line cruise ship Viking Grace after it ran aground. Photo: Niclas Nordlund/dpa.
The Viking Line cruise ship Viking Grace after it ran aground. Photo: Niclas Nordlund/dpa.

It happened again.

Passenger ferry M/S Viking Grace with more than 400 people on board ran aground on Saturday near a ferry terminal in the Åland Islands archipelago, in the Baltic Sea.

According to the vessel operator, Viking Line, and the Finnish coastguard, the event occurred after 14:00 and caused no victims. No one was in danger and there were no reports of any oil or fuel spill.

Several coastguard vessels were at the scene and divers were deployed to inspect the bottom of the vessel.

Witnesses said the M/S Viking Grace was just a few metres from the shore and a few hundred metres from the ferry terminal in Mariehamn, the archipelago's main town.

The ferry was en route from Stockholm via Mariehamn to Turku, Finland.

The vessel had 331 passengers and a 98-strong crew, the operator said.

There were strong winds and it was raining hard on Saturday and several other ferries did not operate.

Powerful wind

Viking Line chief executive Jan Hanses told Finnish public broadcaster YLE that it appeared that a powerful wind gust had blown the vessel towards the shoreline where it ran aground.

Shortly after 20:00, the Finnish coastguard informed via Twitter that the situation on board was "stable" and passengers were preparing to spend the night on board.

Built in 2012, the 218-metre long Grace can transport 2,800 passengers.

In September, another Viking Line vessel, Amorella, ran aground in another part of the Aland Islands' archipelago.

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