Low sea levels to continue hampering Hiiumaa ferry traffic over weekend
This weekend, sea levels are forecast to drop to as much as 74 centimeters below the Kronstadt mean sea level, the local benchmark for the eastern Baltic Sea, which means that ferry traffic between the Estonian mainland and the western island of Hiiumaa will continue to be affected, ferry operator TS Laevad warned on Friday.
TS Laevad issued a recommendation for motorists who have not booked their vehicle for passage to leave the vehicle in port.
Spokespeople for the ferry operator said that a decline in sea levels is expected to continue and ferry traffic on the Hiiumaa route, which has a very low navigable channel, will continue to be substantially affected. The ferries Regula and St. Ola were idle all of Friday and are unlikely to be able to sail over the weekend.
As the ferries Harilaid and Kõrgelaid continue to substitute the larger two ferries on the Heltermaa-Rohuküla route, the number of motor vehicle spots booked for the route has already grown so big that accommodating a significantly larger number of vehicles will prove difficult given continued low water levels in the channel separating Hiiumaa from the Estonian mainland.
As a result, the operator has requested that motorists who have not booked passage for their vehicle to either change their plans for the weekend or make the crossing without their vehicle, adding that no refund fee will be charged on returned tickets due to adverse weather conditions.