On icebreaking jobs inland

4. May 2021

Did you think FFS only operated along the coast and on the seven seas? Think again!


The icebreaker is at Tyrifjorden and ready to be put on the water.

This winter, the company has had two freshwater jobs - first in Tyrifjorden and then in Tonstad. In both places, the mission was to break ice.

- Very special and very fun, sums up Tony Kristiansen.

He usually manages Lister Kranservice, a company owned by FFS. But in February he moved out to come to the rescue of MS Thorbjørn. The ferry, which is owned by AUF, is named after former Prime Minister Thorbjørn Jagland and is used to carry passengers back and forth to Utøya, had frozen in the ice.

- FFS HAS ONE boat that is so special that we can hardly call it a boat. We use it for such icebreaking assignments, says Tony.

The vessel weighs 12-13 tons, has two propellers in the bow and crushes the ice with the stern. The propellers, which are padded with steel grille, can be rotated around 360 degrees and controlled with joystick and footspeed.

- It is very fun to drive - almost like a computer game, Tony says enthusiastically.

AFTER BEING transported by special transport, the icebreaker was put on the ice. Then the trip across the Tyrifjord began. But the "Save the Thorbjørn campaign" did not end quite as planned.

- In the beginning it went very well, but then we met on ice that was up to 35 centimeters - which was significantly thicker than we had been told. Then we had to turn around with an unresolved case, Tony says.

BETTER BECAME THE RESULT at Tonstad shortly after. Trout farmers feared that an ice floe at the other end of the water could damage the facility.

- Here the ice was less than two centimeters thick. We did what we were supposed to and the feedback was very good, says Tony, who thinks this type of job is an exciting change from what he otherwise does.

Then more people will wonder about the connection between FFS and AUF. The thing is that Tony's "weird" boat has previously been rented by AUF to keep the lease between Utøya and the mainland ice-free when there have been winter events on the island.

- Then it was natural to ask us for help to save MS Thorbjørn, says Tony, who reckons that the spring has now "liberated" the passenger ferry from the ice.