NO: DELENG / 2017 / 70663
official media partner of national maritime foundation
Finnish Cargo Vessel Runs Aground in Åland Archipelago as Captain Falls Asleep
By Sea and Coast | 07/09/2023
On Friday morning, reports emerged of a cargo vessel running aground off the southwest coast of Finland in the Åland archipelago.
Initially, the Finnish Coast Guard, as reported by X, indicated that the vessel, a Finnish-registered ship measuring 50 meters in length, was transporting wood from an Åland island to the port town of Naantali on the Finnish mainland. However, this information was later corrected, clarifying that the vessel was actually loaded with grain.
At the time of the grounding, the vessel had a crew of three, and fortunately, there were no reported injuries.
The vessel, which was built in Norway in 1923, is Finland's last extant historic sand dredger of its size. According to Dennis Saari, co-owner and Managing Director of Sea Lake Shipping, the ship spent a few years at a shipyard before being refurbished and used to deliver grain to the mainland and timber to land.
The Finnish Coast Guard revealed that the ship's owner intended to initiate efforts to salvage the vessel and retrieve the cargo.
Given that the vessel carries six cubic meters of fuel, authorities have been preparing for the possibility of an oil spill.
At present, the primary cause of the accident remains unknown and will be subject to later investigation. Currently, rescue operations are ongoing, as stated by Niklas Guseff, the head of maritime rescue.
The vessel's captain disclosed to Ålands Radio that he had fallen asleep at the helm.