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Estonian icebreaker out of action due to technical fault

Icebreaker EVA-316
Icebreaker EVA-316 Source: Jaanus Lepalaan/Transport Administration

EVA-316, a multi-purpose Estonian state naval vessel that has been used as an icebreaker in Pärnu and the Gulf of Riga since mid-December, has broken down and it is not known when it will be repaired.

Due to the thick ice, Martin Kaarjärv, who coordinates the work of icebreakers at the Estonian Transport Administration (Transpordiamet), does not currently recommend ships go out to sea from Pärnu.

Kaarjärv told ERR that repair workers from Finland are currently on board EVA-316, as the system that began to break down had originally been put in place by them. Around noon on Thursday, it could become clearer whether the ship will be back in action the same day, or whether it will take a little more time. In the latter case, the Estonian Navy will call in another contracted partner to help transport the vessel to Pärnu Bay.

EVA-316 has experienced the same connector issue before, according to Kaarjärv. "As a ship is such a technical thing, it so happens that some things break down occasionally."

However, with temperatures plummeting, icebreakers are definitely needed in Estonia at the moment. According to Kaarjärv, one ship left Pärnu Harbor on Wednesday evening, somehow managed to travel five miles, but is now stuck and waiting for assistance. When EVA gets back in shape, she will go out to help her. There is a ship coming into the harbor at the moment, which should arrive closer to Friday evening, Kaajärv explained.

"My advice is not to go into the ice, because the ice will soon be around 25 cm thick and the wind is strong," said Kaarjärv.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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