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Ferry stuck in Baltic ice

Ferry stuck in Baltic ice
A ferry on its way from Finland to Estonia with 850 passengers on board is marooned in the ice of the Baltic Sea, maritime officials said.

Ferry carrying 850 people stuck in Baltic ice.

A ferry on its way from Finland to Estonia with 850 passengers on board is marooned in the ice of the Baltic Sea, maritime officials said.

Esa Hurskainen, watch supervisor from the Gulf of Finland Vessel Traffic Centre, said the ship, the Nordlandia, became stuck as it was leaving Helsinki.

"An icebreaker knows about the situation, but it is busy with other ships, so we cannot estimate how long it will have to wait," he said. He said the ship was not in danger.

A coastguard official said the vessel, operated by the Eckero Line, was stranded about 15 km south of Helsinki on its way to the Estonian capital, Tallinn.

An Eckero Line spokeswoman said the passengers were calm.

"We spoke to the crew a few minutes ago, and they told us they had just started serving lunch," the spokeswoman, Ida Toikka-Everi, said.

Atso Uusiaho from Arctia Shipping, which operates icebreakers in the Baltic, said there were about 15 to 20 ships that needed assistance because of ice, but the Nordlandia was the only passenger ferry.

The region has been gripped by unusually cold weather for weeks, with temperatures dipping below minus 20 degrees Celsius.


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