Estonia's Tõll ferry comes to aid of cargo ship stuck in pack ice

A ferry was pressed into action Wednesday after a cargo vessel became stuck in thick ice. The Friendland’s operators issued a distress call after becoming trapped in the sea ice.

The ferry Tõll came after the end of its scheduled trips to the aid of the Friendland, a Latvian-flagged general cargo ship which had got into trouble in the ice in the Väinameri Sea, on its way from Latvia to the port of Naantali in Finland.

The Estonian shipping company which operates the ferry reported on Wednesday it received a call for assistance from the Latvian cargo ship which said it was stuck in the ice flows.

After providing assistance, the ferry and the cargo ship moved south towards the Viirelaid pilot point.

From there Friendland continued its journey towards Finland, whilst the ferry Tõll returned to the port.

In accordance with the latest data received by Marine Traffic, the cargo ship is now located at Baltic-Finland Gulf and in underway using engine.

The ferry Tõll, like Piret, Tiiu and ferry Leiger, has an A1 ice class rating, and its part of the TS Laevad OÜ fleet, a subsidiary of AS Tallinna Sadam, which has been organising ferry traffic between the mainland and the larger islands Hiiumaa, Muhu and Saaremaa since October 2016.

The ferries also assist with icebreaking when possible, as the company reports.

Tõll has been converted into the first hybrid passenger vessel in Estonia. Its batteries allow partial travel on electricity, which reduces the amount of diesel used and minimizes air pollution.

Estonia’s maritime services had posted reports of severe ice conditions for the region which were exacerbated by the winter storm with strong winds.

The Estonian Environment Agency reported yesterday a forecast for Baltic Sea warning for severe icing of ships Northern Gulf of Riga, Eastern Gulf of Finland.