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30th Jun 2023

Boy, 7, killed after falling from passenger ferry – and mum dies going in after him

Steve Hopkins

They fell into the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Poland

A schoolboy has died after he fell overboard off a passenger ferry – and his mother died trying to save him.

The seven-year-old fell off the ferry in the Baltic Sea on Thursday as the vessel travelled from Sweden to Poland.

His mother then jumped in after him in an attempt to save his life, authorities have said, according to The Sun.

The incident sparked a major search and rescue operation involving ships and helicopters from Sweden and Nato.

The mother and son were found, winched to a helicopter, and taken to Karlskrona hospital in Sweden.

Speaking on Swedish radio on Friday, Anders Olsson, who was on the rescue helicopter, said the woman was not responsive and first aid was administered to her.

Lars Blom, chief of rescue operations at the Swedish Maritime Administration rescue centre, said that first it received reports that one person had fallen overboard, “then it turned out to be two”.

On Friday, Polish police announced that both had died.

The Swedish ferry, Stena Spirit, was midway through its journey to Gdynia in Poland from Karlskrona in Sweden when the incident occurred.

It is not known what led to the tragedy.

Stena Line spokesperson Agnieszka Zembrzycka told TVN24: “At the moment we have no information whether this was due to a malfunction of the ferry.

“We are cooperating with the police and other authorities that are appointed to explain the causes and circumstances of this event.”

Swedish police have issued an appeal to Polish passengers, asking for any information that could explain how the incident occurred.