Viking ship runs aground off Finland, all passengers evacuated

A ferry operated by Finnish company Viking Line has run aground in the Åland Islands waters between Finland and Sweden, Finnish authorities said.

The ship, MS Amorella, grounded south of Långnäs on 20 September 2020 while en route from Turku to Stockholm, according to the Finnish Border Guard.

At the time of the incident, there were 281 people onboard of which 207 were passengers. No injuries have been reported.

After the ship touched the ground, its crew deliberately pushed Amorella to the shore of the island to stabilise the vessel.

Several rescue units comprising ships, helicopters and surveillance aircraft were sent to the scene on Sunday.

All passengers and part of the crew have been evacuated to shore, the West Finland Coast Guard District said in an update on Twitter.

ferry grounding
Evacuation operation. Image by Finnish Border Guard

The focus has now shifted from sea rescue to damage control. Two patrol boats remain on site and damage control equipment is being transported.

No oil spill has been detected so far, the coast guard added.

The coast guard continues with measures aimed at maintaining the ship’s stability. An assessment will be carried out today by an independent company which is expected to conduct further salvage operations.

Finland’s Safety Investigation Authority said it has launched a preliminary investigation into the grounding of Amorella.

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