MS Gabrilella Could Have Sunk in Icey Waters…

By Victoria Maslova

My husband and I moved to Finland almost 2 years ago after graduation from St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies in Computer Science. I work for a top class software company in Helsinki where we are both really happy with nice housing, great colleagues at the office where we develop ahead of time products. I like Finland, ice skating (I dream of being able to perform an Axel jump), photography and coffee shops Greenmark in Hietalahti and a few others!

This Wednesday afternoon at 17:15 MS Gabriella of the Viking Line collided a few minutes after leaving the port situated close to the Sea Pool, an outside heated swimming pool in the centre of Helsinki,  The ferry was definitely out of control for few minutes.

I really love watching how Silja and Viking ships turn and sail out from the harbour. I do it quite often. That day I walked from one lovely coffee shop in Ulannlinna called RAMS Roasters  Cafe. They have my favourite cinnamon buns and cookies.

As I was passing by Helsinki Biennial construction from sea side, on my way to metro station, I saw that MS Gabriella was sailing away slowly. It was foggy and dark that time.

I walked, and despite the weather conditions, I noticed with peripheral vision that ferry track no longer looked familiar as usual. 

My brain began to imagine all sorts of disasters – then suddenly there was a loud bang from the boat colliding with the side of the harbour. I was standing on opposite side of the shore and waves splashed at my feet causing me to move smartly away.

It’s said that the collision occurred when the ship lost electricity after leaving the port. Fortunately, the accident did not cause any injury, but 2000 passengers had to disembark… their journey finished as quickly as it started!

 The side of the ship was scratched too, which can be seen in the picture above

The bow of ferry was damaged and the edge of the pier was partially punched into the bow and making a big dent. 

It reminded me of a collision of a gigantic cruise ship which plowed into a dock in Venice hitting a smaller vessel in 2019. That liner was unable to slow down and was out of control for a while too. The costs for reparations was almost USD 3 million that time.

Hopefully, MS Gabriella will be restored soon and go to her next trip to Stockholm really soon.

The sharp-eyed Victoria took the pictures and witnessed the accident in Helsinki’s iced- covered waters… It makes you think what could happen if the power failed when the ship was passing some narrow channel with rocks on both sides on a cold winter’s night in icey fog… 

Here is a link to her Instagram site

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