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Danish Ice Breaker
on the move

It is not the ice conditions in Danish waters that calls for the ice breakers assistance, but DANBJØRN shall assist the Swedes for a couple of weeks

For the first time in ten years is the Danish Ice Breaker DANBJØRN is on the move, last time was in the winter 1995-1996.

The ice breaker DANBJØRN

The ice breaker DANBJØRN.
(Foto: Royal Danish Navy)

By Johnny E. Balsved

The large Danish ice breaker DANBJØRN and its crew of 29 will leave its station at the Naval Base Frederikshavn Monday 13, and head for Swedish waters in the Aaland Sea on the east coast of Sweden.

DANBJØRN is to assist the Swedish authorities in accordance to the more than fourty years old common Nordic agreement on mutual ice breaker assistance.

Growing ice problems

During the last couple of weeks there has been growing ice problems in the Aaland Sea between Sweden and Finland, and the Swedish authorities had an urgent request for additional ice breaking assistance to keep the main sail lanes open for trafic.

On friday the Swedish authorities asked Denmark to assist, chartering a Danish ice breaker to support the Swedish ice breakers in clearing the Aaland Sea.

Initiallly the Danish ice breaker will assist the Swedes up to the end of this month.

The arrangement is based on a common Nordic agreement from 1962, which opened up for Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark to mutual assist each other, should one or more countries need additional ice breaking capacity.

Ready on short notice

The three large Danish ice breakers have been on short notice for a couple of months, if ice conditions should demand the use of these large vessels.

But it is the first time in 10 years that DANBJØRN is given a chance to show its real strength. The ice breaker was last in use as an ice breaker in Danish waters during the winter 1995-96.

Leaving Frederikshavn on Monday, the ice breaker will be on station in the Swedish waters on Wednesday after two days transit.

The crew of 29 is a mixture of the ice breakers fixed maintenance crew supplemented with crew members from other naval ships.

Beside the assistance to the Swedes, this is also a welcomed chance to train the Danish crew members in the special work of ice breaking.

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Søværnets operative Kommando, (Admiral Danish Fleet) Aarhus

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This page was first published: March 11, 2006

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