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Thick Baltic ice causes ferry havoc

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Thick Baltic ice causes ferry havoc
08:02 CET+01:00
Cancellations and delays to ferry services are forecast to persist into Thursday as the Baltic Sea experiences its iciest conditions in 14 years. Several vessels are stuck in the ice waiting for ice-breakers to set them free.

"With regards to ice cover we have not seen anything like it since 1996," Johnny Lindvall at the Swedish Maritime Administration told news agency TT.

The recent extreme cold and hard northerly winds have meant that ice is being forced in towards the Swedish Baltic Sea coast. Twelve vessels were on Wednesday evening stuck in ice outside of Sundsvall while the ice-breaker Ymer battled to get them free. Outside of Umeå, the Atle was working together with the Finnish vessel Fennica.

The Local reported on Wednesday that Ånedin Lines Birger Jarl had got stuck in ice in Stockholm's archipelago. The shipping line has since cancelled both Wednesday and Thursday departures.

"We want to transport our passengers in safety," said Wolfgang Kukol at the firm.

Kukol confirmed that passengers were given the choice of a refund or re-booking their tickets.

Tallink's freighter Sea Wind also ran into trouble in the thick ice on Wednesday with its next two journeys between Stockholm and Åbo postponed.

"We are keeping track of the situation," Luulea Lääne at Tallink told TT.

The Viking Line ship Rosella managed to complete its afternoon journey as scheduled on Wednesday after having been obliged to cancel the morning trip.

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