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ACCIDENT

Ship runs aground, captain suspected drunk

A Dutch freighter has run aground off the coast of Helsingborg in southern Sweden, with the captain taken in for police questioning after he appeared drunk at the helm.

Ship runs aground, captain suspected drunk

“We don’t know what has happened yet, but we are investigating the incident,” Birgitta Andersson at the Swedish coastguard said to the local Helsingborgs Dagblad daily.

The coastguard received the call that a vessel had run aground outside of Laröd on the Hittarp reef in the Öresund strait at around 5.35am on Friday, Andersson confirmed.

On closer inspection it was found that while the vessel itself remained intact the skipper of the vessel appeared to be under the influence and the police were called.

“He was taken to the police station for further tests and interrogation,” Calle Persson at Skåne police confirmed.

The vessel is reported to be the Dutch registered 86-metre cargo vessel the Flinterforest. Built in 2004, the Flinterforest belongs to the Dutch company Forestwave Navigation, according to the company’s website.

Forestwave Navigation said it would issue a statement regarding the matter

later on Friday.

While the police now have responsibility for the investigation, it is being conducted by the coastguard and with the shipping inspector still trying to determine how to free the ship, which is beached on gravel.

“We don’t think we’ll be able to free it before the weekend. To get it out, we’ll have to relieve it from its cargo, and another ship will have to come free it,” Nilsson said.

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ACCIDENT

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.

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