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Ice Conditions in Estonian Waters

The MA’s multi-purpose vessel EVA-316 is operating in the Gulf of Riga and Pärnu Bay. Currently, the ice cover with a thickness of about 10 to 20 cm reaches up to 25 NM in the direction of SSW from the piers of the Port of Pärnu. About 10 NM from the open sea towards the piers of the port lies the area of heavily hummocked ice which cannot be passed by vessels without an icebreaker.

From that area on up to the piers of the port lies fast ice with a thickness of about 15-30 cm in which a channel has been broken by the icebreaker. Since the beginning of the winter navigation season on 10 January, the EVA-316 has assisted vessels entering and leaving the Port of Pärnu on 191 instances.

In the Gulf of Finland, icebreaking started on 21 February near the Port of Sillamäe. The I/B Botnica operated for three days, helping seven ships, and then remained on standby in the Port of Sillamäe, because the winds changed and removed the unpassable ice from the area. However, the Botnica was needed again on 6-7 March in the vicinity of the Port of Sillamäe, as the winds from the northeast brought huge ice formations near the ports of Kunda and Sillamäe and the island of Vaindloo, so that ships could no longer move on their own. The Botnica serviced two vessels and returned to the Port of Sillamäe where it can give instructions over the radio to ships navigating in ice. So far, the Botnica has assisted nine vessels altogether during this season.

The waiting time for icebreaker services does not exceed two hours in Pärnu Bay or in the Sillamäe area.

Click in the picture to see the latest ice report on the Baltic Icebreaking Management webpage.