Dozens of ships, including ferries with over 1,000 passengers on board, have become stuck in ice in the Baltic Sea, the BBC reported citing Swedish maritime authorities.
The ferries are stranded in the waters between Stockholm and the Aland Islands, while cargo boats are stuck in the Bay of Bothnia, the BBC said.
According to the Swedish Maritime Administration, both Sweden and Finland have deployed at least four ice breakers in the area to help the stranded vessels, but the ships are not likely to be freed for hours.
The officials said there were no evacuation plans so far as the ships are well equipped to handle ice. However, gusty winds and rapidly shifting ice floe could pose a problem if the vessels are not freed as soon as possible.
Swedish TT news agency earlier reported that there was a minor collision between two of the ferries when they tried to maneuver in packs of ice, but no passengers were injured in the incident.
Sweden has reportedly suffered the worst Baltic freeze in 15 years with temperatures keeping below zero since December.
MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti)