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Ferry With Nearly 300 People Onboard Stranded in Baltic Sea
A ferry with around 300 people on board was stranded in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday after the ship experienced engine failure, the Danish operator said. No injuries were reported and an evacuation wasn't immediately necessary. The breakdown aboard the Regina Seaways produced smoke, which triggered the ship's fire extinguishing system in the engine room, Copenhagen-based DFDS Seaways said. The vessel was in international waters off Kaliningrad, Russia's Baltic Sea exclave between Poland and Lithuania. "Currently both engines are off, the passengers are safe, no one's been injured. The location of the ship at the moment is around 53 miles from Klaipeda, and around 64 miles from Kaliningrad and Gdansk," DFDS spokesman Vaidas Klumbys told The Associated Press. "The passengers are on the ship, they have been informed of the situation and are ready to be evacuated if it will prove to be necessary," said Klumbys. "The ship was on it's way from Kiel to Klaipeda. It was supposed to reach Klaipeda at 17:30 pm local time. Of course, that will not happen now." The ferry, which also had cars and trucks on board, was traveling between the ports of Kiel, Germany, and Klaipeda, Lithuania. Russian state news agency Tass quoted Andrei Permyakov, head of the sea rescue coordination centre in Kaliningrad, as saying that rescuers from Lithuania, Russia and Poland responded. Lithuania's navy said one of its helicopters and three navy vessels were sent to the site in case an evacuation was necessary. The Regina Seaways was built in 2010 and can carry up to 500 passengers.