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Viking ferry runs aground off Finland – all passengers safe

PortandTerminal.com, September 21, 2020

Viking Line ferry MS Amorella grounded in the Baltic Sea off Åland, Finland with 200 passengers and 80 crew

HELSINKI, FINLAND – A ferry operated by Finnish company Viking Line has run aground in the Åland Islands waters between Finland and Sweden, Finnish authorities said.

The ship, MS Amorella, grounded south of Långnäs on 20 September 2020 while en route from Turku to Stockholm, according to the Finnish Border Guard.

At the time of the incident, there were 281 people onboard of which 207 were passengers. No injuries have been reported.

After the ship touched the ground, its crew deliberately pushed Amorella to the shore of the island to stabilize the vessel. One theory being reported by FleetMon is that the ferry’s hull had breached and the ship was taking on water. In danger of losing stability, the ferry was intentionally grounded in order to “stabilize the vessel”.

Several rescue units comprising ships, helicopters and surveillance aircraft were sent to the scene on Sunday.

All passengers and part of the crew have been evacuated to shore, the West Finland Coast Guard District said in an update on Twitter.

The focus has now shifted from sea rescue to damage control. Two patrol boats remain on site and damage control equipment is being transported.

No oil spill has been detected so far, the coast guard added.

The coast guard continues with measures aimed at maintaining the ship’s stability. An assessment will be carried out today by an independent company which is expected to conduct further salvage operations.

Finland’s Safety Investigation Authority said it has launched a preliminary investigation into the grounding of Amorella.

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