Ferry delays continue following collision

Disruptions in ferry traffic between the island of Gotland and the Swedish mainland will continue following the Thursday collision of two passenger ferries near the port of Nynäshamn off Sweden's east coast.

Ferry delays continue following collision

On Friday, several departures were cancelled and the shipping company has announced continued delays.

Trips between Öland and Visby as well as Oskarshamn and Visby were cancelled on Friday. Four departures were to be cancelled on Saturday, causing severe delays for thousands of passengers.

The MS Gotlandia, which was involved in the collision, ran as usual on Friday.

“Things are looking pretty good….Now we are running on a normal schedule. Those whose trips were cancelled have hopefully been able to take later departures,” said Jan-Erik Rosengren, managing director of Destination Gotland.

He said that a decision will be made over the weekend regarding the schedule for next week, but they may have to cancel additional trips.

Around 5,000 to 6,000 travelling between Nynäshamn-Visby and Oskarshamn-Visby were stranded after the accident and faced delays of up to ten hours.

Around 1,900 passengers were onboard when the collision occurred. Five people sustained mild injuries and were taken to the hospital for treatment. An additional ten individuals went into shock and received medical attention.

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Sweden steps up Baltic defence in ‘signal’ to Russia

Sweden's defence minister has said his country is carrying out military exercises in the Baltic Sea to 'send a signal' to countries including Russia.

Sweden steps up Baltic defence in 'signal' to Russia
Swedish troops on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland. Photo: Joel Thungren/Försvarsmakten/TT

The so-called “high readiness action” means the Swedish army, navy and air force are currently more visible in the southeastern and southern Baltic Sea and on the island of Gotland.

No details have been disclosed about the number of troops involved in the action.

Sweden is “sending a signal both to our Western partners and to the Russian side that we are prepared to defend Sweden's sovereignty,” Hultqvist told news agency TT.

Ground troops on Gotland. Photo: Bezhav Mahmoud/Försvarsmakten/TT

“There is currently extensive military activity in the Baltic Sea, conducted by Russian as well as Western players, on a scale the likes of which have not been seen since the Cold War,” the Swedish Armed Forces' Commander of Joint Operations, Jan Thörnqvist, said in a statement.

“The exercise activities are more complex and have arisen more rapidly than before. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has caused global anxiety and uncertainty. Over all, the situation is more unstable and more difficult to predict,” Thörnqvist said.

A Visby-class corvette and two Jas Gripen jets in the air. Photo: Antonia Sehlstedt/Försvarsmakten/TT

Hultqvist said Sweden was also monitoring developments in Belarus “very closely”.

Non-Nato member Sweden, which has not been to war in two centuries and which slashed military spending at the end of the Cold War, reopened a garrison on Gotland in January 2018 amid concerns about Russian intentions in Europe and the Baltic.