Ships freed after hours stranded in Baltic Sea ice
Published 05/03/2010 | 12:51
Ships carrying over 1,100 people which had become stranded in pack ice in the Baltic Sea off Sweden have now been freed.
The ships became trapped after freezing gales caused a build-up of ice in Swedish coastal waters.
Swedish coast guard and military helicopters had been placed on stand-by in case an evacuation was required.
The passenger ferry Amorella, with 753 passengers and 150 crew onboard, was helped break free by ice breakers deployed by authorities in Sweden and Finland.
The Regal Star, a cargo ship with 56 on-board, also received assistance from ice breakers. Three other vessels which had become stranded managed to break free on Thursday.
The maritime administration said the ships had ignored warnings about icy conditions in the area.
No injuries have been reported.