Swedish Radio reports that some 60 vessels were trapped in the Baltic sea ice yesterday and that 5 icebreakers are working feverishly to clear their paths. The ships are trapped in the southern section of the Gulf of Bothnia known as “Bottenhavet”.
This problematic situation was not helped by the strong southerly winds which compressed the ice sheet. To the north of Sundsvall, ships cannot proceed without icebreaker assistance.
Most ships trapped on Sunday are now free but some yet have problems and are waiting for assistance from icebreakers.
“At all ports north of Sundsvall, it remains very difficult ” says
Johny Lindvall at FMA Icebreaking.
Last weekend 250 000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea was covered with ice, which according to SMHI was the largest area covered by ice since the winter of 1986-87.
The strong winds that we have had the last couple of days has resulted in a severe ice situation, mainly in the northern part of the Sea of Bothnia. This makes it hard to predict how long time each individual assistance will take.
Ice breaking vessels and their activities:
Ale: Assisting/supervising the traffic on Lake Vänern. Atle: During the evening/night assisting Red Spirit from Karlsborg to Haraholmen and then Salsa out from Haraholmen. Frej: Now assisting a convoy of four southbound ships , that were stuck on the finnish side, over to the channel that has opened up on the swedish side. Ymer: Assisting/supervising the traffic in Ålands Sea Baltica: Visit in shipyard Scandica: Assisting and supervising the traffic in Kalmar Sound. Fyrbyggaren: Assisting/supervising in Bay of Havringe. Balder Viking: On her way with a convoy to Ornskoldsvik and Holmsund. Tor Viking: Breaking loose Merwborg and then assist her to Holmsund. Vidar Viking: Assisting/supervising on the northern Baltic Proper, Bay of Havringe and Landsort.