On Saturday, due to vicious storm winds, Baltic Sea ferry Viking Grace was grounded with 429 crew and passenger in the Aland Islands, between Sweden and Finland.
Upon examination of the hull by the Finnish Coast Guard Divers, it was concluded that the vessel was stable and not taking on any water. The passengers had to remain on the vessel for the night and were rescued on Sunday.
A tweet showing the Viking Line ferry that operates between Swedish capital Stockholm and the Finnish port city of Turku was made on Saturday by the Finnish coast guard. The tweet said that the vessel had run aground just off the port of Mariehamn, the capital of the Aland Islands.
A picture displaying the M/S Viking Grace stuck just offshore was tweeted by the coast guard, along with the photo the tweet said, “Viking Grace has run aground in front of Mariehamn. Firmly grounded, no leaks…The first rescue units are on site.”
“The passengers would stay overnight on the ship before arriving at the shore on Sunday,” said Johanna Boijer-Svahnstrom, A spokeswoman for ferry operator Viking Line.
Rescue units were kept on standby and the ship was monitored all night long by the Finnish coast guard to avoid any accidents.
The ship was voyaging to Turku from Stockholm with a planned halt at Mariehamn, but strong storm winds predominated the area during that period.
The Viking Grace, being a huge ship, is competent at carrying as many as 2,800 passengers and was near the shore when for some unknown reason it seemed to have floated toward land, said the Finnish Coast guard officials.
Viking Line CEO Jan Hanses said, “a strong gust of wind likely pushed the ship to shore in the narrow passage close to Mariehamn port.”
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in the Nordic countries, the Viking Grace carried an exceptionally low number of passengers.
No one was hurt in the incident. These waters are infamous for being particularly tricky to navigate due to its narrow passages and shallow waters, especially for big vessels.