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Flashback: Skipping Along Beside an Icebreaker

By MarEx 2016-08-28 18:36:34

This video shows opening shots from Peter von Bagh's 2008 documentary "Helsinki, ikuisesti" ("Helsinki Forever"). It shows a crowd admiring (and soon being chased by) the icebreaker Tarmo in Helsinki, Finland. It was apparently filmed in the 1920s.

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, U.K., she was the third state-owned icebreaker of Finland and the last Finnish steam-powered icebreaker to remain in service. 

Tarmo has an overall length of 67 metres (220 feet), waterline length of 64 metres (210 feet), and moulded breadth of 14 metres (47 feet). Her displacement is 2,400 tons, and she sailed with a crew of 43.

She was powered by two triple-expansion steam engines manufactured in Wallsend, one driving a propeller in the stern and the other a second propeller in the bow. Tarmo had five coal-fired boilers for the main engines in two boiler rooms and a small auxiliary boiler for heating, deck equipment and electricity generation. Her midship fuel stores could hold 450 tons of coal, which was fed to the fireboxes at a rate of three to four tons per hour by six stokers and was enough for roughly one week of sailing in ice. She could maintain a speed of 13 knots in open water.

When Tarmo was decommissioned in 1970, a decision was made to preserve the vessel as a museum ship. After a long wait in Helsinki, Tarmo was towed to Kotka and completely restored in the early 1990s.