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ACCIDENT

Man survives Baltic Sea ordeal after ferry fall

A 36-year-old man survived seven hours in the Baltic Sea on Friday night after falling from a ferry bound to Stockholm from Helsinki, according to a report in the Ålandstidning daily.

Man survives Baltic Sea ordeal after ferry fall

The man fell from the Baltic Queen ferry outside of the Finnish island of Åland, but his absence was only first noted when the ferry docked in Stockholm on Saturday morning.

An inspection of security camera film showed the man falling from the vessel south of Nyhamn off the coast of Mariehamn. The water temperature in the Baltic Sea was 16-18C and there was little hope that the man had survived.

But Finnish sea rescue was able to locate the man two hours later, four kilometres from the closest island.

He was found suffering from hypothermia with a body temperature of only 26C. According to medical expertise he should have been unconscious by then and would have been in cardiac arrest had his body temperature dropped a further degree.

The man had no life jacket and had few clothes as he had shed them in a bid to remain afloat in the bracing waters.

The man is reported to be 36-years-old and originates from Estonia.

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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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