Swift storm catches sailors off-guard

A quick-moving storm rocked the archipelago in Stockholm, spurring difficult problems in its wake for many leisure sailors.

The storm blew in rapidly with strong easterly winds late Friday night, wreaking havoc for both large and small crafts.

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI, warns of persisting gale winds during parts of Saturday, from the west coast’s Kattegat area whipping around the south coast along the Baltic Sea and up to the Åland Sea.

Gusts on Gotland Saturday morning are expected to reach 20-24 meters per second, according to SMHI’s forecasts.

The National Swedish Sea Rescue Society (Sjöräddningssällskapet) and the Coast Guard spent Friday night responding to a barrage of emergency alarms for both large and small vessels that were grounded in several parts of the archipelago.

Many of them had been torn from their anchor moorings.

“Everything has gone well,” search and rescue leader Bjorn Wrandel from the central Sea Rescue Society in Gothenburg told the TT news agency.

Wrandel warned that capsizing winds from east to west during the early hours Saturday morning might cause difficulties for more recreational boats.

But the rescue society did not receive additional alarms through the night.

The Coast Guard rescued a small sailboat with two people aboard after it had run aground near Risselö, south of Runmarö.

The Swedish Sea Rescue Society dispatched efforts from stations in Ornö and Nynäshamn to rescue a 40-foot sailboat and a Danish Albin Viggen that were both grounded close to Ornö.

A 42-foot sailboat that had torn also ran aground at Nämdö. The society rescued the five passengers on board, insisting that salvaging of the boat would wait until the weather improved.

Weather predictions indicate the winds will subside over the course of the day.

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