The ferry Birger Jarl struggling in the ice on Tuesday

Three Ferries Got Stuck in the Ice

Updated 22:00

Three ferries got stuck in the ice outside the Stockholm archipelago on Tuesday. Some 500 passengers never made it to Sweden. Instead they had to return to the Finnish island of Åland.

One of the ferries, Birger Jarl, got stuck already at lunchtime. It was then rescued by an icebreaker but got stuck again. According to the news agency TT, the ferry returned to Åland - where it had come from - six hours later.

The problems come after a few days of milder weather which resulted in a strong northerly wind blowing down more ice than expected from the north. Wolfgang Kukol, head of security for the shipping compnay Ånedinlinjen tells TT that the ice has sometimes gathered three to four metres thick. "How the h**l could we have known that so much ice had been blown down," says Kukol.

The passengers, on Birger Jarl and on Rosella, will spend the night on Åland, and will then be stepping onto other ferries on Wednesday, for a new try to make it to Stockholm. The third ferry, Sea wind, with eleven lorry drivers on board, were supposed to arrive in Åbo in Finland on Tuesday evening, but was expected to be several hours late.

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