Icebreakers Struggling in the Danube

Total Croatia News

Hungarian icebreakers were called to help break ice on Croatian part of the Danube.

One Hungarian icebreaker has managed to get through this morning to the town of Dalj in Croatia, after it spent the whole night breaking ice boulders. It is currently at the so-called Dalj Bend, where the critical point of the 15 kilometres long ice cluster is located. The other icebreaker is still one kilometre away from the bend, and it does not seem to be moving, which means that it is probably stuck among ice boulders, reports Večernji List on January 18, 2017.

The two icebreakers started their journey on Tuesday morning, with a mission to reach Vukovar. They were expected to reach the bend at 11 am on Tuesday, but it soon became clear that they will not be able to meet that deadline. Ice on the Danube is about a metre and a half thick, so they had to fight their way very slowly, literally inch by inch. Such icebreakers usually work in pairs.

“The situation on the river is such that the layer of ice is at places as much as two metres thick, which means that icebreakers can move only very slowly. It is impossible to forecast when they might complete their journey. The only certainty is that they are working and not giving up”, said Ivica Nađ from the Hrvatske Vode public company, which manages waterways.

Water levels of the Danube at Dalj rose by as much as two metres in just 48 hours. For example, on Friday the water level was at 220 centimetres, and on Saturday evening the levels reached almost 400 centimetres. The changes in water levels are a consequence of the ice which stifles the flow of river. “However, there is no reason to panic because the water levels are still more than 5 meters lower than the maximum water level measured in 2013, so there is no danger of flooding”, said Nađ.

The Hungarian icebreakers were called since Croatia does not have specialized ships which can deal with such thick layers of ice, which is a consequence of a long period of very low temperatures which has recently hit eastern Croatia.


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