The last surviving ship to have seen active service in Finland’s Winter Wars and Continuation Wars from 1939-1944 is now taking part in the fight against marine pollution with the installation of new environmental protection products.
S/S Ukkopekka was built in 1938 and is a 35m privately-owned passenger steamship that operates cruise trips in the beautiful Finnish Archipelago Sea. This area of the Baltic is a MARPOL 73/78 SPECIAL AREA which aims to achieve complete elimination of intentional marine environment pollution by hydrocarbons and other harmful substances and to reduce the accidental discharging of such substances.
Supplied by Wave International’s distributor Trans-Auto Oy, the owners of S/S Ukkopekka have fitted a new Wavestream 2 bilge filter which ensures that no traces of oily water, microfibres, microplastics or any pollutants are pumped overboard. Karioskari Kangas of S/S Ukkopekka says, “Our steamship attracts customers of all types from around the world and from within Finland. We welcome both business and leisure customers, and we have many that visit purely see the old steamship and steam engine, which are maintained in a pristine condition, which we are glad to show them.”
Despite her age, and being powered by an oil-fired steam boiler, the crew onboard S/S Ukkopekka have to maintain the highest environmental standards which means not leaving any traces of pollution in her wake. A Wavestream bilge filter is essential because the machinery on board S/S Ukkopekka has to be regularly greased with extremely heavy grade lubrication oil, which then spills into the bilge of the vessel. The Wavestream’s sophisticated filters remove every type of contaminant, ensuring only clear water is pumped overboard.
Now enjoying her life as a beautifully restored cruise ship, offering onboard dinner and dancing, daytime and evening cruises, and available for private hire, S/S Ukkopekka was originally used by the Finnish Maritime Administration to maintain and service safety equipment including lighthouses, beacons and buoys. During the 2nd World Wars, she saw active service in the Finnish Winter and Continuation Wars and was fitted with 20mm anti-aircraft guns. One notable expedition was her role in successfully protecting an escort mission to deliver 5,000 tonnes of much needed grain to the people of Finland in 1941.
At the end of the war, S/S Ukkopekka was used by the Soviet-led control commission in Finland as an inspection vessel. In the 1980’s she was put up for demolition, but was bought by private owners, including the Seven Crazy Brothers Orchestra, before being purchased by Pentti-Oskari Kangas family Steamship Company. Plans for the 2021 summer season, assuming the covid situation allows, will include their regular and popular cruises twice a day from Turku to Naantali and the night cruises to the Loistokari island.