Icebreaker Otso towards the Bothnia Bay
Sun 11 Dec 2022 02:00:00 PM EET
Icebreaker Otso set off on 11.12. from Katajanokka in Helsinki. Otso is the first icebreaker of the season. Otso will sail towards the Bothnia Bay, where ice has begun to form at the head end and along shipping lanes.
The previous icebreaking season was exceptionally long, the first icebreaker started the season on December 4. Almost every icebreaker was active and the safe arrival of merchant ships at the ports was easily ensured. The ice winter was mild in terms of the extent of the ice, but harsh conditions were also experienced, especially in the Bothnia Bay.
The icebreaking season requires thorough preparation, and Otso's crew together with Arctia's office have diligently ensured that the machines and staff are in full working order. When Otso sets off for the Bay of Bothnia, it was loaded with 640,000 kgof low-sulphur light fuel, 120,000 litres of water and rations for 10 days. "Otso's crew is excited to start the new icebreaking season. This year, like last winter, the season starts quite early," says Otso's master Hanna Kujala and thanks the crew for the maintenance season and departure preparations.
Arctia’s icebreakers operate in Finland’s coastal waters, securing winter navigation which is vital to Finland’s business sector as approximately 90 % of the country’s export and 80 % of import is transported by sea. Icebreaker crews are at work around the clock, seven days a week. The crews are changed in intervals of 10 days, and at the same time, the vessel is refuelled and her water and food reserves replenished.