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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Swedish police investigate crazed motorist who drove at pedestrians

A 24-year-old man who attempted to drive into people in the centre of Karlstad on Saturday evening is suspected of attempted aggravated assault.

Swedish police investigate crazed motorist who drove at pedestrians

The exact charges that will be brought against the man are not yet certain, according to police.

“The is no classification yet. It will depend on what is revealed by the investigation,” Bergslagen Police duty officer Erik Hiding told news agency TT.

Emergency services alerted to a possible drowning incident near the Gubbholmen island found the man, who pulled himself out of the water before getting into a car and attempting to run over pedestrians, according to the report.

“We were responding to a drowning alarm which developed into a situation where we had to avoid being hit by a car and shout to people to keep away,” first responder Magnus Lundqvist told local media Värmlands Folkblad.

Lundqvist said that it was “pure luck” that no-one was injured in the incident.

Passers-by on the pavement and cycling lane had to throw themselves out of the path of the man, who is suspected of being under the influence of narcotics.

“I saw the car come up on to the cycle lane and stood up against the railing. I just tried to keep myself away, Jonas Westin, who was out walking with his daughter at the time of the incident, told SVT Värmland.

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