Two feared drowned in boating accident

Rescue workers have described as "non-existent" the chances of saving the lives of two men missing after a boating accident in central Sweden.

The search for the missing men was called off on Friday afternoon due to stormy weather. One of the men is in his twenties, the other in his sixties.

“The chances that either of them are still alive are not great,” police spokesman Per Strömbäck told the TT news agency.

A total of four forestry workers from the Örebro area were aboard the boat when the accident took place at Lövudden outside Västerås.

Two men in their twenties were rescued from the water and taken to hospital in Västerås, where they are being treated for hypothermia.

“Their lives are not in any danger,” said Strömbäck.

A large search party, including helicopters, divers and rescue boats was sent out to look for the men but adverse weather conditions led to the postponement of the search at 1.30pm. According to a statement from rescue officials, visibility on Lake Mälaren was poor, with strong winds and choppy waters.

None of the men were wearing life jackets, according to police. The search for the two men is set to resume at 9am on Saturday.


Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.