Divers find tractor teen’s body under the ice

The 17-year-old boy who went missing on Christmas Day when his tractor plunged through the ice was found dead on Friday afternoon.

“He was found at lunch time with the help of an underwater camera that was used to find the body,” said Tommy Lindh of the Värmlands police to the Expressen newspaper.

The boy was out on a tractor with a friend late on Christmas Even on Lake Lillsjön, northwest of Sunne in western Sweden, when the pair plunged into the icy water below.

The 17-year-old’s companion managed to get to safety, but his friend never resurfaced.

Emergency services were called immediately, but it wasn’t until the early hours of the morning, however, that divers could begin searching for the body.

The tractor was found the next day 11 metres below the surface.

The boys were reportedly trying to clear snow off the lake’s surface with the tractor.

“They were trying to plough a track on the ice. I think they were eventually planning to make a track to drive cars on,” said Lennart Edvardsson, head of emergency services in Sunne, to P4 Värmland at the time.

Police said it took so long to find the body because of unfavourable conditions beneath the ice, which may also have led to the ice breaking in the first place.

Local police spokesperson Thomas Hertzberg said the lake muddy bed emitted swamp gas that most likely contributed to the accident.

“The gas may have weakened the ice from below, as this ice was thick enough to carry the weight of a tractor,” he told the Nya Wermlands-Tidningen newspaper.

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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.