Þór in the port of Akureyri."No, congratulations to you!" one of the crew in new Icelandic guard ship Þór (named after the God of Thunder) told me as I walked aboard to have a look around. "This belongs to all Icelanders, and they should all be proud if it," he said and smiled.

And what a revolution it is!

The ship is designed to be efficient in a number of challenging circumstances. It can serve as headquarters for national emergencies, it has an oil rinsing system built to prevent oil spills to disperse, it has a powerful system to fight fires and countless other activities.

Crew member on board (Photo: Hjalti Þór).It can give helicopters fuel; it can measure depth and search underwater, can carry up to six containers, cars and provide electricity to land if needed.

"Yeah, its taken a while to learn all of the things we need to learn on a new ship," a crew member admitted.

It also has a gun, but as the captain said, "it's mostly for decoration. I think it is from World War 2!" The cannon is active, but its role is more symbolist than for usage. The guard ship is therefore mostly unarmed.

The shape is a tow boat, and the impressive thickness of the tow wires is actually built to tow Property of the Captain (Photo: Hjalti Þór)up to 250 tons. The complex system also allows the ship to GPS-lock in a position with another ship, for example staying North-East and 70 meters from another ship.

The ship is 93.80 meters long, 16 meters wide, 32 meters high and 3920 tons. Its maximum speed is 19.5 knots.

It is specially built for sailing in ice covered waters, the strength is 1B (1A Super is for 1.0 m thick ice, 1A for 0.8m and 1B: 0.6 m. thick ice.

Increased shipping around Iceland meant that a new ship was a necessity. With the Northern Chief engineer (Photo: Hjalti Þór).Sea Route increased traffic, this is a great addition to the Icelandic fleet.

It can help monitoring and with search and rescue in the Arctic Ocean. With Iceland also drilling for oil in the Dreki Area, a guard ship is essential, especially if production will begin in the area.

The multi-tasking ship brings a smile to the Icelandic coast guard, and the celebration by going around Iceland, opening it up for the people, shows their pride.

"This ship is truly a revolution," the captain proudly states. And rightly so.

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