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Otkes: No investigation required into Viking Grace accident

A preliminary probe suggests adverse weather conditions were the main cause of the cruise ship running aground.

Karille ajanut Viking Linen matkustaja-alus Viking Grace Maarianhaminan satamassa 22. marraskuuta 2020.
The Viking Grace is being prepared to return to service on Sunday 29 November. Image: Niclas Nordlund / Lehtikuva

The Safety Investigation Authority (Otkes) has said it will not begin a formal investigation into how the Viking Grace cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Mariehamn in the Åland Islands on 21 November.

Otkes director Veli-Pekka Nurmi told the STT news agency that the decision was made because nothing has come to light during the preliminary probe that would indicate, for example, a technical failure of the ship.

Nurmi said that the final report will be ready within a couple of weeks.

"Investigations have been made, but the report is still being finalised," he told STT, adding that adverse weather conditions were a key factor in the ship running aground.

The incident was the second time this autumn that a Viking Line ferry has run aground, after passengers were evacuated from the Viking Amorella when it got stuck in the Åland archipelago in September. An Otkes investigation found that a technical failure in the ship’s power control unit was the cause of that grounding.

Viking Grace, which can carry up to 2,800 people, had 331 passengers and 98 crew members on board at the time of the accident. No injuries were reported.

The ship is being prepared to return to service on Sunday 29 November.

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