The fire-stricken ferry Regina Seaways safely reached Klaipėda Seaport where it moored in the evening hours of October 2, according to Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence.

The ferry, which experienced a technical failure at the Baltic Sea, was escorted to the port by three Lithuanian Navy vessels.

“The conditions were not very convenient for a rescue operation – we had 3 and over-meter height waves and over 300 people aboard,” Commander Eugenijus Valikovas, head of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of the Lithuanian Navy, said.

Valikovas added that three Navy ships, that could accommodate all passengers and take them to the shore safely, were dispatched to carry out the rescue operation. Additionally, three Air Force helicopters were ready to take off immediately and start transfer of passengers.

Operated by DFDS Seaways, Regina Seaways ferry experienced engine troubles at around 2 pm on October 2, leaving the vessel adrift some 110 km away from Klaipėda. At around 6 pm the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre was informed by the Regina Seaways ferry via radio communication that they managed to start the main engine and was heading towards Klaipėda.

Lithuanian Navy ships were accompanying the ferry at a small distance prepared to evacuate the passengers and crew if a need arises.

At the time of the incident, the vessel, which was carrying 335 passengers aboard, was on its way from Kiel, Germany to Klaipėda.