The small town Hals at the Kattegat-entrance to the Limfjorden is appointed as new layup-base for the two vintage state icebreakers DANBJØRN and ISBJØRN, both awaiting a buyer. An third slightly younger fleet mate, THORBJØRN, from the now total decommissioned Royal Danish Navy-operated icebreaker fleet, is already sold to a private owner in Svendborg.
The other day I passed (and photographed, of course) the scenery with these fine-looking classic ships, on my way to Northern Jutland, going on the east coast route including the Egense – Hals ferry crossing.
All three icebreakers were formally taken out of service three and half years ago due to a government decision to cease the public/governmental operated icebreaker fleet. Instead, in the still more unlikely event of a hard winter, private shipping companies with ice-enforced tugs will be hired in.
For their whole career the icebreakers had their base at the Naval Base in Frederikshavn, where they were constantly maintained and cared for in all the years. If they needed to mobilise, they each required a mixed crew of 29 from the fixed maintenance group and from other naval vessels at the base.
DANBJØRN and ISBJØRN were delivered from the Odense Staalskibsværft (Lindø) in 1965 with DANBJØRN as the lead-ship. The length of the DANBJØRN-class is 75,3 m with a beam of 17 m and a draught of 8 m. The machinery is diesel-electric comprising six B&W diesel engines and four electro motors with a total output of 8,679 kW.