Search resumes for missing men

Västmanland police have resumed the search for two men missing, feared drowned, in Lake Mälaren near Västerås. The men have been missing since being involved in a boating accident on Friday.

Police have employed an underwater vehicle, divers from the Swedish Coast Guard and rescue boats from the national sea rescue society as the search for the missing men resumed at 9am on Saturday morning.

The alarm was sounded on Friday morning that a boat with four men on board had run into trouble and was sinking.

A massive rescue operation was launched and two of the men, both in their twenties, were rescued from the water and rushed to Västerås Central hospital with hypothermia. Their injuries are not reported to be life-threatening.

The search for the remaining missing men was called off on Friday afternoon due to adverse weather conditions and poor visibility. One of the men is in his twenties, the other in his sixties.

Police hold little hope of the men being found alive.

“The only chance they have is if they managed to land on some small island and have broken in to a summer house. But then they should have been touch by now,” said Anders Helin at Västmanland police to news agency TT.

The four men, all forestry workers, were on their way to fell timber when the accident occurred at Lövudden outside of Västerås.

“The boat was partially open and in the high waves it began taking in water and sank fast. In these conditions there are few people who go out. Had it been still then they would have been OK,” said Börje Strömberg of Västmanland police.

Police confirmed that none of the men were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.


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.