Icebreaking operations start in Finland
In Finland, icebreaking started operations with two icebreakers currently deployed in the Bay of Bothnia, where ice began at the end of the head and along shipping lanes.
“Based on long-term forecasts, we would seem to have a mild winter ahead of us, or, in terms of surface extent 70,000–100,000 square kilometers. The ice extent largely depends on winds and subzero temperatures during the peak period. In practice, ice would cover the Bay of Bothnia, the Kvarken and the eastern Gulf of Finland, and there would also be some ice on the coastal regions and in the Gulf of Riga area," stated Senior Ice Expert Jouni Vainio from the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
On 25 December, the icebreaker Kontio was deployed by a Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency order, followed by the icebreaker Otso on 8 January. Restrictions on first aid for sea areas came into effect on 27 December.
At sea, Arctia Ltd's six traditional icebreakers and two multi-purpose icebreakers and Alfons Håkans' Zeus of Finland are at the disposal of the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency.
Assistance in the Lake Saimaa area is given by Alfons Håkans' Calypso and Protector and Rauma Cata Oy's Meteor. Furthermore, the organization has the newly completed motorized detachable icebreaking bow Saimaa on Saimaa region and tugboats providing assistance in sea areas in its use, a first of its kind in the world.
The icebreakers operate around the clock, seven days a week, along the coastal areas of Finland, ensuring a safe winter passage that is important for Finnish trade.
Depending on the ice conditions, traffic restrictions will be enforced in the harbors this winter, upholding the same rules as in previous winters.
Maritime Business World