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Three Baltic ferries stuck in the ice

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Three Baltic ferries stuck in the ice
09:41 CET+01:00
Three ferries got themselves stuck in ice in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday forcing almost 500 passengers to return to the Finnish island of Åland.

The ferries - Ånedin Lines' Birger Jarl, Viking Lines' Amorella and Tallink's Sea Wind - managed to break free from thick ice at around 7pm on Tuesday evening.

The Birger Jarl, with 247 passengers on board, had been stuck for over six hours.

The vessel was en route to Stockholm at around lunchtime on Tuesday when she got stuck just north of Norrtälje. The Vidar Viking ice-breaker managed to drag the Birger Jarl free, which then returned to Mariehamn on Åland.

News agency TT asked Ånedin Line why the ship had set sail when there was so much ice in the Baltic.

"Who the hell would have known that so much ice had blown in?" Wolfgang Kukol at the ferry operator said.

The firm announced that Wednesday's ferries will be cancelled but that the remainder of the week should run as normal.

A further vessel - Viking Line's Rosella - was also obliged to abort its journey bound for Kapellskär and returned to Mariehamn. All of her 216 passengers were due to return to Sweden on Wednesday with alternative ships.

The freighter Sea Wind arrived in Åbo later than its allotted time of 7pm on Tuesday evening.

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