Passenger ferry Viking Grace runs aground off Finland

Viking Line cruise ferry Viking Grace after it ran aground with some 300 passengers in south of Mariehamn, autonomous Aland Islands territory, Finland November 21, 2020

image copyrightReuters

A passenger ferry with more than 400 people on board has run aground off the Finnish Aland islands in the Baltic Sea.

The Viking Grace is stranded close to the port of Mariehamn.

The Finnish coastguard said that the ship was firmly on the rocks but was not leaking and no lives were in immediate danger.

The ship, owned by the Viking Line, had been heading to the Swedish capital, Stockholm, from Turku in Finland.

The reason for the ship running aground is not yet clear.

Residents near the scene expressed surprise and said that they could almost touch the ferry from the shore.

“It is very windy here on Aland and they tried to reverse in to the quay,” said one resident, named only as Tina, 55.

“We saw that they were having problems. They stopped and then something happened and they drifted towards land. You can basically touch the boat if you go down to the water.

Passenger Anna Palsson, quoted by Swedish newspaper Expressen, said they had just gone down to the car deck when the ferry ran aground.

“People are calm and the staff are handing out food and facemasks,” she said.

Viking Line cruise ferry Viking Grace after it ran aground with some 300 passengers in south of Mariehamn, autonomous Aland Islands territory, Finland November 21, 2020

image copyrightReuters

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