No third boat involved in Swedish ferry crash

There is nothing to indicate that a third ship was directly involved in last week’s ferry crash near Nynäshamn off of Sweden’s east coast, according to preliminary interviews.

On Monday, investigators from the Swedish Accident Investigation Board (Statens haverikommission – SHK) interviewed the crew from the Finnish barge which was moored near the entrance to Nynäshamn harbour when the MS Gotland and Gotlandia II passenger ferries collided.

“We’re collecting information about what they saw and heard and are putting all the information in a pile to analyze later,” SHK investigator Göran Rosvall told the TT news agency.

He added that everyone involved knew the barge was anchored near the harbour entrance and that it didn’t take anyone by surprise.

“It was in the area, but it was at rest and was something of an inconvenience sitting where it was, but nothing disruptive,” said Rosvall.

A more detailed account of what may have caused the accident will take time, as it can take months to collect all of the necessary documentation.

The MS Gotland was quickly returned to service, while the Gotlandia II continues to undergo repairs, resulting in a number of cancelled and delayed trips.

As of Monday, a great deal of patience was still required for those traveling to and from Gotland. In addition to the delays, the internet booking service of ferry operator Destination Gotland remained out of commission.

Those who want to make reservations or re-book existing reservations can expect telephone wait times of at least 30 minutes, according to Destination Gotland CEO Jan-Erik Rosengren.

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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.