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Finnish ferry towed to safety

Viking Grace. Photo: Viking Line.

A FINNISH ferry which ran aground between Sweden and Finland was towed to safety after passengers and crew spent a night on board.

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The Finland-based Viking Line Group reported that the MS Viking Grace struck rocks in a narrow passage and became stranded amid strong winds and heavy rain, mid-afternoon on Saturday, November 21, before its scheduled call at Mariehamn, the main port town of Finland’s autonomous Aland archipelago.

The 429 passengers and crew spent the night aboard the ferry before tug boats arrived to pull it ashore.

Divers inspected the hull on Saturday night and reported the situation on board was calm.

Passengers were offered dinner and were told they could leave the ferry the following day.

They disembarked once they arrived in Mariehamn and were allowed back on board the following day, where they were told which ships would take them to Finland and Sweden.

The Viking Grace, listed with capacity for up to 2,800 passengers and 500 vehicles, had been deployed Saturday because of a storm warning, instead of a smaller less sturdy vessel, Viking Line reported. Passenger numbers had been kept low due to COVID-19 precautions.

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