Men, women and dog fall through thin ice

Three people fell through the ice near Västerås in central Sweden on Friday afternoon, adding to a raft of accident reports earlier in the day.

Emergency services were called to an area of frozen lake between Norra Björnö and Östra Holmen in response to a call about a woman who had fallen through the ice. When they arrived they found two more people who had suffered a similar fate but had managed to climb back out of the chilly waters.

“The sea rescue service went out with two hovercraft to pull the woman onto to land, but came back with three people. They had gone through the ice at another spot, but had managed to climb out themselves and walk over the ice to the other party,” said Sten-Erik Pettersson at the service.

Reports are unclear over whether the woman managed to get out by herself.

Earlier on Friday afternoon reports came through of another person who had fallen through the ice near Stora Hammar on Torshamnslandet east of Karlskrona in southern Sweden.

The accident occurred when a dog fell into the water and its owner tried to rescue it. The owner was suffering from the cold but was conscious on the journey to the hospital. The state of the dog is not yet known, but it was taken to a veterinarian.

Furthermore two skaters in their seventies fell through the ice south of Uppsala at around lunchtime, according to local newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning. The pair were able to climb back out of the icy waters by themselves before the emergency services arrived.


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.