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A few photographs of Finnish icebreakers I took in Helsinki during December 1998. It was apparently quite a bright day for the time of year, I would hate to see a dull day (*))

1. Karhu class OTSO
2. Urho class URHO with sister ship SISU moored behind
3. Voima class VOIMA & Tarmo class APU
 

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Evening Bob, I know its not the correct terminology for a ship but these
icebreakers look really butch. Great pictures thanks.
Regards
Hawkey01
 

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Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker Norman McLeod Rogers

NORMAN McLEOD ROGERS - an icebreaker launched 25 May 1968 as yard hull no. 289 by Canadian Vickers’ Montreal, Quebec shipyard. She entered service in October 1969 with the Canadian Coast Guard in October 1969 as an icebreaker and navigation buoy tender. The Canadian Coast Guard decommissioned her in 1993 and she was sold to Chile in 1994.
Her LOA is 294.9 feet (89.9m), her beam is 62.5 feet (19.1m) and her draft is 20 feet (6.1m). As built (she is still in service, albeit with the Chilean Navy as “Contraalmirante Oscar Viel Toro”) the ship had a fully loaded displacement of 6,320 long tons (6,420t), GRT of 4,179, NRT of 1,847 and deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 2,347 tons.
As built, and at the time she assisted Aigle d'Ocean (1975), the icebreaker was equipped with the first application of a CODAG system in an icebreaker in the world. This comprised four diesel engines and two gas turbines powering two electric motors driving two shafts and producing 2,000 shp (8,900kW). This is reported to give the ship a maximum speed of 15 knots (28 km/h). In 1982, the gas turbines were replaced with diesels, so she is now powered by four Fairbanks-Morse 38D8-1/8 diesel engines (8,496 hp, 6,335 kW sustained) with four GE generators putting out 4.8 megawatts (6,400 hp) and two Ruston RK3CZ diesel engines (7,250 hp, 5,410 kW sustained) with two GE generators generating 2.6 megawatts (3,500 hp) driving two shafts creating 12,000 hp total. The ship maintained the same speed after the alteration and has a range of 12,000 nautical miles (22,000 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h). While serving in the Canadian Coast Guard, the ship could accommodate one helicopter. In 1975, the time of the Aigle d’Ocean casualty, the icebreaker had a complement of 55, but when she went to the Chilean Navy in 1995 her crew complement was reduced to 33.
Ship’s data from The Nauticapedia. Ship’s photos by John MacFarlane (1) and Marc Piche (2, 3, 4)
 

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Katherine walker

Sheltering at home with “feel-like” temps around 110 deg F (43 deg C), I sometimes pass a bit of time looking at vessels in cold weather. Today I came across KATHERINE WALKER (WLM-552), 2nd of three 175 ft. (53m) “keeper-class” coastal buoy tenders in the U.S. Coast Guard. The three photos below by Robert Lanier were taken on 22 Feb 2020 in Hudson River ice near her homeport of Bayonne, New Jersey.
KATHERINE WALKER was laid down 08 April 1996, launched 14 September 1996 and completed 27 June 1997 by the prolific and sophisticated mid-sized shipbuilder Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin, where the Menominee River flows into Lake Michigan.
Her full load displacement is 840 long tons (850 t), her length is 175 ft (53.3 m), beam 36 ft (11.0 m), and draft 7.9 ft (2.4 m). Her buoy deck area is 1335 sq. ft. and she has 1 x 10 short ton crane. Her 2× Caterpillar 3508TA diesels, rated at 1920 hp (1430 kW), power 2 x Ulstein/Rolls Royce 360-degree steerable Z-drives and a 600 hp electric bow thruster enhances her maneuvering / “hovering” ability. She claims a range of 2000 n miles at 10 knots and a top speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). She provides mixed gender accommodations for up to 2 officers and 22 enlisted personnel, but her normal operating crew is 18.
She is primarily responsible to maintain approx. 335 aids to navigation located in Long Island Sound, from New Haven west, and the north and south shores of Long Island to New York and New Jersey. She also performs SAR, light icebreaking (although not classified as icebreakers, these ships can move through 9 inches of ice at 3 knots), and ports, waterways, and coastal law enforcement and security operations (“keeper-class” ships carry small arms).
I learned USCG “keeper-class” ships are named after lighthouse keepers. Although not a tugboat matter, I thought I’d share Katie Walker’s interesting story in another post. Stay cool, be well.
Photos below are by Robert Lanier and were taken 22 Feb 2020 on the Hudson River near USCGC KATHERINE WALKER's home port of Bayonne, New Jersey.
 

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Who was Katherine Walker?

My curiosity was piqued when I read that crew members of USCGC KATHERINE WALKER brought flowers to a gravesite on Staten Island, N.Y. before beginning a patrol. I learned the gravesite belonged to Kate Walker, the diminutive keeper of the Robbins Reef Light from 1895 to 1919. Born Katherine Gortler in Germany in the 1840s, she was widowed early and emigrated to America with her 7-year-old son to find a better life. She got a job in Sandy Hook, NJ where she met retired sea captain and civil war veteran John Walker, then the assistant keeper of Sandy Hook Light. What began with him giving her English lessons ended in their marriage, shortly after which Capt. Walker became keeper of Robbins Reef Lighthouse, then one of the most modern lighthouses on the East Coast.
At Robbins Reef, the petite (4’ 10” [1.2m] 100 lbs. [45kg]) Kate was assistant lightkeeper, homemaker, wife and mother. Robbins Reef Light was a mile out in the harbor, accessible only by boat. It had no dock: to enter the lighthouse one climbed up a steep ladder from a rowboat, then lifted the boat up on davits for safe keeping. When her husband died of pneumonia a couple of years later, Kate immediately began performing her husband’s duties while applying to the Lighthouse Commission for appointment as official lightkeeper at Robbins Reef. Officials balked. She continued to petition until, some four years after her husband’s passing (during which time she alone managed the Robbins Reef Light), she was appointed official lightkeeper.
It was a hard life. Each night she set out the eight kerosene lamps backed by reflectors that were rotated by a slowly descending weight clock-like mechanism to project light onto a large lens one could see 12 miles away on a clear night. Every few hours throughout the night those lamps needed refilling and the clockwork weight had to be wound up so the lens would keep rotating. In winter she had to go out on a narrow catwalk, scraping ice or snow from each window. If fog rolled into the harbor, she had to start an engine in the cellar that sounded a foghorn at 3 second intervals. Should the engine fail she’d climb to the top of the tower and hammer on a bell to signal to the Lighthouse Depot on the mainland that repairs were necessary at the Lighthouse. Come daybreak she’d sleep until it was time to row her children, Jacob and little Mary, to school, a mile away on Staten Island and row back to pick them up at day’s end. During the day the lamp wicks had to be trimmed, reflectors and Fresnel lens had to be cleaned and polished, and a record of the weather and ship traffic maintained. During WWI she would unfurl an American flag as a farewell or welcome salute to departing and arriving troop transports. From time to time she also rowed out to assist distressed vessels and is credited with having saved fifty lives, mostly fishermen whose boats went aground on the reef in storms.
Pursuant to a new regulation, the government ordered Kate to retire in 1919. At the tender age of 71 she moved to nearby Staten Island and lived within sight of the beacon. For years pilots and tug captains continued to refer to the lighthouse as “Kate’s Light”. When Kate Walker died at age 83 on 05 February 1931 the New York Evening Post wrote this obituary: “A great city’s waterfront is rich in romance. There are queenly liners, the grim battle craft, the countless carriers of commerce that pass in endless procession. And amid all this and in the sight of the city of towers and the torch of liberty lived this sturdy little woman, proud of her work and content in it, keeping her lamp alight and her windows clean, so that New York Harbor might be safe for ships that pass in the night.”

Picture 3, Robbins Reef Light circa 1917, USCG photo
Picture 1, Robbins Reef Light 2011 by J. Stephen Conn
Picture 2, Kate Walker page in New York Tribune 23 Feb 1919
Picture 4, Kate Walker circa 1909, photographer unknown
 

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Great story, Bob, thanks for posting. Hard looking little ship too. I must have unwittingly sailed past "Kate's Light".

Wish the UK coast guard had some ships, I was a lighthouse keeper for a bit and they could have named one after me. Trinity House, the lighthouse authority, seem to name their ships after all sorts of odds and sods.

John T
 

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Thanks for bringing back memories Bob. Spent many hours around Finland following these great vessels from sea (ice ! )to port, especially by night with the bobbling of the searchlights as the ships banged their way through the ice

Mike
 

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https://youtu.be/gBq32XlC3Vc - short vid 3rd Finnish icebreaker, Helsinki Hbr. 1920's, now a museum piece at Kotka.


Tarmo is a Finnish steam-powered icebreaker preserved in the Maritime Museum of Finland in Kotka. Built in 1907 by Sir W.G. Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd in Newcastle upon Tyne. The ship was launched on September 9, 1907 and given the name Tarmo, meaning “vigor” and “spirit” in the Finnish language. She was the third state-owned icebreaker of Finland and the last Finnish steam-powered icebreaker to remain in service.
 

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I had a guided tour of the finnish ice breaker URHO back in 1979, she had escorted us into Rauma, and was taking us out again when we completed the cargo ops, the ch mate arranged transport with the agent and armed with a bottle of scotch both cadets went round.
Fascinating experience, the cleanest engine room I have ever seen, fantastic accomodation, indoor swimming pool, small basket ball court,
To break free from the ice, she had a system to transfer 100t of ballast in only 5 seconds from side to side using hydraulic rams and using a 36" pipe across the machinery space. 5 White Pielsticks used as generators.
Unfortunatly the helicopter was not onboard (the 5 icebreakers shared it between them), otherwise they would have offered to let us do the outbound trip from Rauma, until we were left in the ice awaiting a convoy coming down from Kemi. Still an interesting experience, i have not been back in ice since that time. rgds Kev
 

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We could sure use these Finnish icebreakers here in Canada as the government has been vacillating for ages about building new ones and it is a political football some want them built in Quebec and others in Ontario and B.C. I just want them built as the new in use are getting old old old.
 

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I would like to add to the above. I don't know how these Finnish icebreakers would fair in the Canadain Arctic as it is not freshwater and the ice is different, multi year ice is very hard compared to freshwater one year they are used to.
 

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If memory serves correctly, back in the fifties, the Canadian icebreakers prime purpose was to prevent flooding on the St.Lawrence during the ice melt in springtime. Nor would they render assistance of any kind to a merchant ship stuck in the gulf. In the summer months they would assist merchantmen supplying the Arctic.
They never gave me the impression they were as powerful, or as obliging, as anything up the Baltic. I would have thought the Finnish, Swedish and Russian icebreakers in the Baltic in the 50’and 60’s could have handled the river and Arctic even better than those based at Quebec, not the men, the ships.
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Harry T. You are quite correct and this was there man purpose. Only now this has changed and they assist all merchant ships during the winter in the Gulf and in the spring on the Great Lakes as a combined effort with the U.S. coast guard.
the new ones the govenment is proposing are for Arctic use as with warming of this area to enforce sovereignty. Its alas like any government the time they make up their mind
 

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Hi and hello Lakercapt. since posting earlier was curious to know how things have progressed from my day, i.e. as a relieving master with the several winters split between N. Atlantic trips to Quebec and Montreal and scheduled 21-day trips to the Baltic, that sometimes took months. Am not one bit surprised to learn these days 80% of the world’s icebreaker are designed by the Finns and 60% are built in Finland. Apparently as recently as last year they have chartered any of the eight state owned breakers in their ‘off season’, with fully experienced crews to Greenland and Alaska.
The officers claim it is preferable to learn the business in the more stable single year ice, before attempting the multiyear ice. I wouldn’t argue with that.
 

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Montreal 1980/81 icebreakers came downriver breaking up the beginning of ice, caused at least three ships to break moorings (we had self tensioning which worked) and the now floating ice went downriver to block the bridge. So port completely closed for next couple of weeks. First vessel out was one that had broken moorings and went slowly downriver with the ice!
Dannic
 
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