294 ferry passengers stranded in Baltic Sea

A ferry with 294 passengers on board is stranded in the Baltic Sea after an engine breakdown, Danish operator DFDS said.

The malfunction aboard the Regina Seaways produced smoke, which triggered the ship’s fire extinguishing system in the engine room, DFDS said in a statement.

No injuries were reported.

The passengers were assembled at muster stations in preparation for a possible evacuation but it was not necessary because the “situation is under control”, the statement said.

The extent of the damage was not yet fully known and it was not immediately clear whether the ship could continue on its own or if it would need tugboat assistance, the company said.

The ferry, which also had cars and trucks on board, was travelling between the ports of Kiel, Germany, and Klaipeda, Lithuania.

The vessel was in international waters off Kaliningrad, Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave between Poland and Lithuania.

Russian state news agency Tass quoted Andrei Permyakov, head of the sea rescue co-ordination centre in Kaliningrad, saying that rescuers from Lithuania, Russia and Poland responded.

Lithuania’s navy said one of its helicopters and three navy vessels were sent to the site in case an evacuation was necessary.

The Regina Seaways was built in 2010 and can carry up to 500 passengers.

- Press Association

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