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Swedish Coast Guard sends more ships to contain oil spilling from ferry

More emergency response vessels have now arrived to help contain oil leaking into the Baltic Sea from a ferry that ran aground in southern Sweden. Photo courtesy of Swedish Coast Guard
1 of 5 | More emergency response vessels have now arrived to help contain oil leaking into the Baltic Sea from a ferry that ran aground in southern Sweden. Photo courtesy of Swedish Coast Guard

Oct. 30 (UPI) -- More emergency response vessels arrived Monday to help contain oil leaking into the Baltic Sea from a ferry that ran aground in southern Sweden.

More than 6,600 gallons of oil have already escaped from the Marco Polo passenger ship, the country's Coast Guard confirmed.

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"Coast guards from several parts of Sweden are working hard to take up all the heavy oil that was released when a passenger ferry ran aground just over a week ago," the Coast Guard wrote in the statement.

The Coast Guard confirmed Monday it is increasing resources, sending "several ships and personnel to combat the oil spill at sea."

The German-owned Marco Polo first ran aground in southeastern Sweden on Oct. 22 while traveling between the Swedish port cities of Trelleborg and Karlshamn.

All 75 passengers and crew were rescued without incident shortly after the initial grounding.

The Coast Guard later described the response as an "environmental rescue mission."

Oil has damaged large parts of the Swedish coastline, with photos showing massive cleanup efforts around 68 miles from Malmo, the country's third-largest city.

The ship further shifted Sunday from its initial spot, causing more oil to leak into Pukavik Bay.

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The ship is taking on water but is considered stable and unlikely to sink entirely.

The boat was originally built in 1993 by a Dutch company and is operated by Germany's TT-Line. It underwent a major overhaul to become a Baltic Sea ferry in 2019 and operates with two Diesel-electric engines.

The vessel has capacity for up to 215 passengers in addition to vehicles.

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