Click for video and BBC storyThe Maritime Search and Rescue Center in Gothenburg, Sweden reports that up to 50 ships are stuck in ice off the coast of Sweden, including several passenger cruise ships and ferries. More than 1000 people are trapped.
"It has been a lot colder than normal in the southern parts of the Baltic sea, but in the north all is normal with normal levels of ice," said Tommy Gardebring, press officer for the Swedish Maritime Association. "However, in the worst-affected areas, the ice breakers that normally operate haven't been able to cope with the ice, which is why we are sending additional ice breakers."
Ferry boat from Tallinn Estonia to Stockholm Sweden
Rescuers from the Swedish Maritime Administration and ice-breaking vessels are trying to reach the stricken ships but are being hampered by gale-force winds. Peter Lindquist, spokesman for the rescuers, said: "As soon as they break the ice, it freezes over again."