Posts Tagged ‘Icebreaker’

60 ships trapped in Baltic Sea Ice on Sunday: 5 icebreakers at work

February 28, 2011

The area of the Bothnian Sea.

Image via Wikipedia

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 Swedish Maritime Administration warns:

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.
STOCKHOLM 110223 Isläggningen i Bottenhavet och Östersjön är den mest omfattande sedan 1987, och det kalla vädret gör att isen fortsätter att breda ut sig, rapporterar SMHI. Foto: Kustbevakningen.

Ice levels in Bottenhavet are the most widespread since 1987. Photo Swedish Coast Guard

Sea Of Okhotsk rescue not quite over yet

January 19, 2011

While the icebreakers had broken through the worst of the ice, the rescue is not yet over and my previous post was a little premature.

A report of the latest news is available here:

I was not expecting to be writing about the Okhotsk Sea today, but in yesterday’s account there were warnings that the crisis was not quite over. And indeed that is the case, with Voice of Russia observing that the rescue operation “will not be over today”. Conditions appear to have deteriorated sharply and, last night, the four-ship convoy covered “no more than three miles”. A helicopter is out reconnoitring the ice situation today.

The convoy in the Sea of Okhotsk

Sea of Okhotsk rescue update: Tartar Straits frozen to the bottom

January 11, 2011

Little news is coming out of Russia where icebreakers are battling to rescue the ships trapped in the Sea of Okhotsk. It all seems to be going much slower than hoped for and bringing the Sodruzhestvo out is clearly posing some challenges.

Itar-Tass reports:

The icebreakers Krasin and Admiral Makarov have escorted the Bereg Nadezhdy refrigerator ship to ice-free water in the Sea of Okhotsk and now are heading to rescue the Sodruzhestvo floating base still trapped in the ice, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Transport told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“Taking into account weather forecasts, it has been decided to leave the Bereg Nadezhdy refrigerator ship in a safe sea area and send the Krasin and Admiral Makarov icebreakers to the Sodruzhestvo floating base to help it get out of ice and reach the area where the Bereg Nadezhdy is waiting,” the spokesman said, adding that the move would cut back on the length of the rescue operation. The Sodruzhestvo remains trapped in ice. It has fuel and foodstuffs enough for 75 days. Experts believe that it will be harder to take it out to clear waters because its hull is wider than that of an icebreaker. The Krasin icebreaker is expected to widen the canal for the ship’s passage.

artar Straits: graphic Wikimedia

The Tartar Straits is reported to be frozen right down to its bottom for the first time in many years. The ice field in the Sea of Okhotsk is also reported to have grown from 25km wide to 45 km wide.

“The ice has hit the bottom and the ice field is spreading northwards. The icebreakers have broken through two big floes and are facing another one. After the icebreakers get the Sodruzhestvo base to the area, where they left the Bereg Nadezhdy, the four ships will proceed to a loose ice area in a single caravan. The Magadan icebreaker and a tanker ship are waiting for them there”.

Unusually thick ice traps ships in the Sea of Okhotsk

January 3, 2011

Itar-Tass reports that the Magadan icebreaker is struggling through 2-meter-thick ice to reach stuck ships in the Sea of Okhotsk and another ice-breaker is on its way. This reports talks of 3 ships being trapped but other reports speak of 10 ships with over 600 crew being trapped.

Line icebreaker ADMIRAL MAKAROV: image

VLADIVOSTOK, January 2 (Itar-Tass) — The Magadan icebreaker of the Far Eastern Shipping Company is struggling its way through the two-meter-thick ice to rescue three ships stuck in the ice in the Sakhalin Bay of the Sea of Okhotsk, a spokesman for the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk sea rescue coordination center said on Sunday.

With a speed of 2.6 knots the icebreaker develops in conditions of the 10 point ice, she has to master five miles to reach the stuck ships, the spokesman said.

The Sodruzhestvo mother ship, the Professor Kizevetter research vessel and the Bereg Nadezhdy refrigerated cargo ship are trapped in the ice eleven to twelve miles off the Khabarovsk coastline. Their attempts to break free have been vain ….. According to the Sakhalin regional emergencies administration, there is no threat to the lives and health of crew members of the three ships. Of the three stuck ships, the Sodruzhestvo has the largest crew of 340 people. The ship has food reserves for 75 days.

The Admiral Makarov, the biggest icebreaker in Russia’s Far East, is also heading to join the rescue operations. She is expected to reach the Sakhalin Bay on January 4.

The BBC also carries a report also quoting Itar-Tass but their facts seem to have morphed along the way. Two metres is converted to 12 inches by the BBC calculator!!!!


Sea of Okhotsk: image BBC


Rescue efforts are under way to evacuate more than 600 crew on 10 ships trapped in ice in the Sea of Okhotsk. The ice is up to 30cm (12 inches) thick in some places, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

The temperature in the area is -22C, according to Itar-Tass, and forecasts suggest it will fall even lower.

An Itar-Tass update is here:

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