Skip to content

Coast Guard opens probe into failed search for missing ferry passenger

The Coast Guard was called in about four hours after the passenger was reported missing.

File phot of the M/S Baltic Princess ferry, operated by Tallink Silja. Image: Marko Stampehl
Yle News

The person who fell from the M/S Baltic Princess ferry in the Åland archipelago last week has still not been found.

Western Finland's Coast Guard has opened an investigation into the unsuccessful search and rescue effort that was called on the morning of Thursday 18 November.

At the time, it was reported that ferry staff were notified about a missing passenger at around 3 am on Friday, prompting a search of the vessel. The Coast Guard received a call about the missing passenger at around 7 am, with the agency announcing at approximately 9:30 am that a search for the individual was underway. The unsuccessful effort was called off a few hours later.

An investigation into the course of that morning's events is under way, according to the head of Western Finland Coast Guard's crime prevention unit in Turku, Mika Laapio

However, Laapio did want to specify whether the investigation's scope would include the actions of the ferry's captain.

"I don't want to comment on the matter at this stage, because the preliminary investigation is still just beginning," Laapio said.

Among other evidence already reviewed by law enforcement, investigators will also examine the ferry's security camera video footage, he confirmed.

"Information is now being collected and interviews may continue," Laapio said, adding that the preliminary investigation could be wrapped up in January.

Tallink Silja: Uncertainty caused delay

The ferry's parent company, Tallink Silja, was informed about the Coast Guard's investigation on Friday, according to the firm's communications chief Marika Nöjd.

She said the ship's captain has also been notified and that the company was awaiting the results of the investigation and interviews, adding that all materials related to the incident have been handed over to investigators.

On Monday, Nöjd told Yle that the delay between being informed about the missing passenger and the request to rescue services was caused by uncertainty surrounding the incident.

"The surveillance camera video footage was reviewed and there was a search for the person carried out on the ship. No observations were made and the [missing] person's friend had no knowledge if the individual jumped, slipped or fell overboard," Nöjd said on Monday.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia