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Viking Line denies responsibility in Allas Sea Pool damage

Allas Sea Pool is demanding Viking Line pay damages after its ferry collided into the seaside pool last month.

Allas Sea Pool in downtown Helsinki. Image: Kristiina Lehto / Yle

Viking Line CEO Jan Hanses told Helsinki District Court on Thursday that MS Gabriella's captain would not have been able to prevent the accident that occurred at Helsinki Harbour last month. He argued that this means the company is not liable to pay any damages to the seaside pool firm.

On January 12, an onboard power outage caused the MS Gabriella to drift into the pier, slowly colliding into a wall and the adjacent pool facility. No passengers aboard the ferry at the time were injured in the incident.

Viking Line argued that the power outage stopped the ferry's propeller, which disconnected the steering. Pulling the emergency brake was not possible under these circumstances, according to the captain.

Hanses argued that damages are only owed when there's proof of negligence.

The City of Helsinki may still submit its own damage claims, as the ferry collided with a city-owned bridge that will likely need reconstruction.

Allas Sea Pool, which said it usually welcomes tens of thousands of swimmers monthly, is demanding compensation from Viking Line for the loss of income following the incident.

The seaside pool said repairs may run into the fall, though it may be able to reopen in the summer if the city grants permits for the installment of temporary saunas during the renovation period.