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Hundreds of Young Hooligans Vandalize Ferry

November 4, 1989

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ A company that operates a ferry service between Sweden and Finland announced Saturday it would impose age restrictions on passengers after nearly 900 young hooligans vandalized the vessel.

The Swedish-Finnish company Viking Line said the restrictions would ban people uner the age of 18 from the Viking Sally ferry on weekdays and all people under 20 on weekend tours.

Swedish national radio reported scores of policeman were at a Stockholm dock when the Viking Sally arrived Friday night, scarred by a rampage by many of the 900 Swedish youths between the ages of 15 and 18 returning from the Finnish city of Turku..

It said five Swedish youths were arrested on charges of hooliganism, theft and drunkenness.

″I pity the ordinary people who were on the ferry, ″ the national news agency TT quoted police superintendent Gosta Forsgren as saying. ″They were terrified.″

He said the young passengers began acting like ″bandits″ shortly after the ship departed from Stockholm Thursday, emptying fire extinguishers, harassing other passengers and destroying furnishings.

Forsgren said one youth was detained by police at Turku for shooting a fellow passenger in the back with an air pistol.

The company said the Viking Sally was filled to capacity with 1,350 passengers for the weekend voyage.

One reason ferry trips between the Swedish east coast and Finland is alcoholic drinks cost less than in Sweden.

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