Saturday 25 November 2017

Over 1,100 people trapped on ships frozen in Baltic Sea ice

MORE THAN 1,100 people were trapped yesterday when two passenger ferries and two cargo ships got stuck in ice in the Baltic Sea off Sweden's east coast.

Rescuers were on stand-by to evacuate them if necessary.

The Swedish Maritime Administration said ice breakers in the area were trying to free the vessels, but gale-force winds were hampering the effort.

“As soon as they break the ice it freezes over again,” sea rescue spokesman Peter Lindquist said.

He said no-one had been injured and there were no immediate plans to bring people off the ships, but helicopters and military hovercraft were on stand-by in case evacuations were needed.

The agency said the ships were the Amorella, a passenger ferry with 943 people on board, the smaller Via Mare ferry carrying 66 people, the roll-on, rolloff ferry Sea Wind with 32 people, and the Regal Star, a cargo ship with 56 people on board.

Two other ferries which got stuck in the ice were able to break free earlier yesterday. One of those ships, the Finnfellow, collided with the Amorella .

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