Ferry hits berth at Kuivastu Harbor
Tõll, a ferry servicing the Virstu-Kuivastu route between the mainland and Muhu Island, collided with the berth at Kuivastu Harbor on Wednesday and was damaged. Nobody on the ferry was injured, but some vehicles at the front of the ramp were damaged, including that of President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Tõll's speed at the moment of impact was four knots and the ferry will be removed from operation for a few weeks.
Board chair of TS Laevad, the ferry line connecting Estonia's larger islands to the mainland, Indrek Randveer told ERR that both the berth and the ferry were damaged, but there were no injuries to the people on board. "As of the currently available information, no people have been injured," Randveer said.
He added that vehicles standing at the front of the ramp were damaged. The ferry was unloaded on Tuesday evening.
The cause of the accident is still unclear, but Randveer told ETV's current affairs show "Ringvaade" on Wednesday evening that initial investigations say the ferry had technical issues.
The ferry's technical issues and subsequent repair works will leave Piret and Regula to service the Virstu-Kuivastu route, TS Laevad announced. The harbor will continue to service vehicles in order of arrival.
TS Laevad service manager Vello Runthal said all vehicles will be transported according to an open schedule. "We will transport everything [on Wednesday]. I believe we will handle the day well. This little mishap is certainly unfortunate, but everyone will get across, because ferry Piret is very capable on this route and Regula is doing all it can too," Runthal said.
The company announced on Wednesday evening that Thursday's trips on the Virtsu-Kuivastu route will go as scheduled with ferries Piret and Regula. Previously purchased tickets are valid, but some passengers might be left waiting for another go-round if the ferries' capacities is reached.
"Unfortunately, this accident took place at the most complicated time, a time when we have many passengers. We would like to apologize to all our passengers, as this will undoubtedly cause issues. We will be on schedule [from Thursday]," Indrek Randveer said.
He added that the company will decide on Thursday if the Regula will begin to operate between the mainland and Hiiumaa and if another larger vessel will be added to the schedule between the mainland and the island of Muhu.
President Kersti Kaljulaid's PR manager Taavi Linnamäe confirmed to ERR that the president was also on the ferry at the moment of the accident, heading to the islands for a non-official visit.
A video of the accident can be seen in the following "Ringvaade" clip:
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste