Historic Finnish cargo ship runs aground

One of Finland’s most historic cargo ships, the 100-year-old Leonie (IMO 5135977), grounded at the weekend in the Åland archipelago. It was reported to be in danger of sinking. The Western Finnish Coast Guard said that it had stabilized the vessel, but that it would be remaining on the scene to deal with any environmental effects.

Skipper David Saari was reported to have told Ålands Radio that he fell asleep and the ship then ran aground. “It’s a serious grounding”, he said.

The Leonie was built in Norway and entered service in 1923. It was reported to be carrying a cargo of 800 m/3 of oats. It had departed Godby in the Åland and was heading on a northeasterly course to Naantali, near Turku on the southwestern coast of Finland. The ship had a crew of three aboard.

The AIS signal shows the vessel was nearly out of Åland when it suddenly veered to the north and grounded near Vardo, Åland. The captain told the radio interview the concern was that the stern was in 42ft of water and the ship was taking on water after the grounding.

The Finnish Coast Guard assisted by local volunteers placed pumps aboard the vessel. They were able to stabilize the water but were also concerned because there were six cubic metres of fuel oil aboard. Initial reports said the fuel did not appear to be leaking.

Later on Saturday  the Coast Guard said that “the maritime rescue task is completed.”

The Leonie was built as a sand dredger, and it had recently been refurbished. Reports are saying that in addition to her age, it is Finland’s last sand barge in operation. It continues in commercial service, carrying grain to Finland and timber to Åland.

1923-built, Finland-flagged, 416gt Leonie is owned and managed by Sea-Lake Shipping Oy Ltd of Turku, Finland, It is entered with Gard AS on behalf of Sea-Lake Shipping Oy Ltd. Gard AS is also claims leader for Hull, on behalf of the same company. As of September 3rd the vessel was listed as Stopped.