Lukas Syberyjski, the Swedish head coach of IFK Mariehamn, the football team of Viking Amorella, who ran aground, arrived at his home in Mariehamn at about 6 pm on Sunday evening, just over five hours after the accident.
Read more: Johan ate lunch at his cottage when the sharply tilted Amorella flew past - next he was already filming the rescue operation: “We were the first boat on the scene”
- I'm pretty ookoo.
An interesting day.
This can happen when the home is on the island, Syberyjski told Ilta-Sanomat by phone.
Amorella, who was on her way from Turku to Stockholm, ran aground near Mariehamn shortly before 1 p.m.
IFK Mariehamn's players were waiting for the start of the lunch table as the ship began to sway and wake up and when a tearing sound was heard for a few seconds.
- The restaurant staff came after a while and they didn't have a normal look.
They could see in their eyes that something might have happened, Syberyjski repeated.
According to Syberyjski, the ship also began to tilt a little.
- Then the alarm bells started ringing and the passengers were directed up to the conference deck.
The general atmosphere was calm.
Some toddlers might be a little scared.
It was hard for them to understand why they just had to sit still and wait.
The information on the ship was good, and everyone also wore life jackets quickly.
The evacuation of passengers began about three hours after the accident. Photo: Antero Lindell
Syberyjski says the evacuation of passengers began three hours after the accident.
Passengers were brought in from the inside to the ground floor of the ship, and from there the evacuees passed through a hatch near the sea level out of the ship and directly into the evacuation boats stuck to the side of Amorella.
The evacuations included e.g.
Coast Guard and Border Guard boats and archipelago boats.
- Some could accommodate about 15 people, some 40–50.
The evacuation went really quickly and professionally.
While waiting, sandwiches, fruit and water were served, Syberyjski praises.
- I got on another boat right away.
We were really close to Mariehamn, the trip on the evacuation boat took only something like 10 minutes.
Syberyjski said passengers were only allowed to take a small bag or backpack, which is their most personal luggage.
Everything else remained on board.
It also knew that virtually all of IFK Mariehamn's football equipment had to be left on board.
Syberyjski says the evacuation boats took the passengers to a small port outside Långnäs in Svinö, from where the journey continued by bus to the evacuation center set up at Strandnäs School.
From Svinö, passengers continued their journey by bus to the evacuation center. Photo: Antero Lindell
- The school had little information about what was happening.
It was such a final test of patience on the journey.
It took some time with the passenger listings and registrations.
All he wanted in that situation was to get home as quickly as possible, Syberyjski recalls.
- There was also a Red Cross crisis reception.
There were crisis assistance, blankets and some small food and drink available for the passengers, Syberyjski noticed.
After the passenger's name had been checked from the passenger list, those living in Åland were allowed to leave their homes.
Syberyjski said the team’s five foreign players on board - who may not have just traveled on a large cruise ship in their previous careers - also took the situation calmly.
The gymnasium at Strandnäs School was turned into an evacuation center. Photo: Antero Lindell
- Tranquility catches on, as does, of course, panic.
If someone starts to panic, everyone starts to panic.
Now there was nothing like that.
We got our own insider joke about this for the team when we told the wondering foreigners that this kind of thing happens now almost every week, Syberyjski laughed.