PARIS – A ferry carrying 313 people ran aground Sunday amid high winds off the French port of Calais, interrupting boat traffic across the English Channel. Authorities safely evacuated those on board.
A towing operation, aided by a rising tide, managed to unstick the ferry from a pebble bank it struck just after noon during the bad weather. Six hours later, passengers from the Dover-bound Pride of Kent started disembarking from the vessel when it was pulled to a nearby dock, authorities said.
Authorities from France's Pas-de-Calais region said no injuries were reported.
P&O Ferries confirmed that one of its ferries ran aground and said it hoped "to transfer our passengers to an alternative ship as soon as possible."
The prefecture said the evacuation was completed Sunday evening and traffic had resumed between France and Britain. Some 60 people were being housed in local hotels while the others were being transported across the Channel, it said.
Storms also knocked out electricity to 15,000 households in the Pas-de-Calais region and an adjacent region.
The national weather warning agency Meteo France had 32 French regions under hazard alerts due to high winds and storms over the weekend.