Ice breakers continue to work round the clock

20 Ships Stuck in Ice Overnight

Merchant shipping and passenger ferries continued to experience problems with thick ice along the Swedish stretch of the Baltic sea on Saturday.

TT reports that nearly 20 ships in an area stretching from off the coast of Piteå in the north to Stockholm's northern archipelago were stuck overnight and waiting for assistance from the Swedish Maritime Adminstration's fleet of 7 ice breakers.

12 of the ships are stuck outside Sundsvall with the remaining eight outside Gävle.

Cecilia Wegnelius from the Swedish coastguard told TT that she couldn't speculate on how long it would take to break the ice and free the ships.

"I cannot say. New ships are getting stuck all the time. I've worked on an icebreaker myself and we've been out even in May."

A SCA forestry owned freighter Ortviken is one of those affected. The ship is stuck outside Sundsvall, one of the areas worst affecred by thick ice. SCA exports paper from Sundsval, via Umeå to the German port of Hamburg.

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