This winter‘s first icebreaker is heading towards the Bay of Bothnia

This winter‘s first icebreaker is heading towards the Bay of Bothnia

Published 8.12.2016

The Finnish Transport Agency has decided to deploy this season’s first icebreaker in the Bothnian Arc. Icebreaker Otso departed on Thursday 8 December 2016 at 01:30, and it will arrive two days later, on Friday.


Late autumn has been colder this year than it has been in previous years and, according to weather forecasts, early winter will also be colder than that of the past few years. A need for assistance will soon arise. At first, Otso will operate in the channels to Tornio, Kemi and Oulu, and the first traffic restrictions in this area will enter into force on 10 December 2016.

Icebreaker operations in the Lake Saimaa region

Tugboat Iso-Pukki started its icebreaking operations in the Lake Saimaa region in the first half of November. At the beginning of December, Iso-Pukki was joined by tugboat Meteor. The first traffic restrictions entered into force on 12 November 2016 in the northern parts of the Saimaa watercourse.

The Finnish Transport Agency is preparing for a normal winter at sea, but it is not possible to forecast how cold the winter will be as a whole until the latter half of January. Arctia Ltd's six conventional and two multi-purpose icebreakers, as well as Alfons Håkans AS's Zeus, are available for icebreaking services at sea, and Alfons Håkans AS's Iso-Pukki and Protector, as well as Rauma Cata Oy's Meteor, provide assistance in the Lake Saimaa region. This winter, traffic restrictions will be imposed depending on the ice conditions, following the same principles as in previous winters.

Further information:

Head of Winter Navigation Unit: Markus Karjalainen, phone +358 29 534 3422

Information about assistance and the ice conditions:

Page updated 19.10.2015