Deadly weekend for Swedish boaters

Boating accidents in Sweden claimed three lives at the weekend, while the search continues for the fourth member of the crew of a boat that sank in Lake Mälaren on Friday near Västerås.

Around 5:00pm on Sunday evening calls for help were heard by people on the shores of Hallaren Lake in the municipality of Heby outside of Uppsala in central Sweden.

Witnesses on shore called emergency crews who were able to fish out a two men, ages 35 and 40-years-old. The two men were out fishing when they ran into trouble and ended up in the water.

The 35-year-old was taken to Uppsala University Hospital in critical condition and doctors were unable to revive him, according to police in Uppsala.

The 40-year-old was also taken to hospital, and while suffering from hypothermia, the man is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, a 62-year-old man from Hamburgsund in western Sweden drowned while performing maintenance on his boat.

“He fell in the water and got his foot stuck in a rope and couldn’t get up. It was an accident,” said police spokesperson Anders Oxelbrand.

And earlier in the day, divers had recovered the body of one of the two men missing following the sinking of their boat Lake Mälaren on Friday near Västerås.

The man is in his twenties and was found by a coast guard submarine, said police in a statement.

He was found just west of Stora Sandskär island.

The search continues for the 60-year-old man who was also a passenger in the boat.

In total, there were four men in the boat when it sank, and two of them were rescued shortly after the accident occurred.


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.