The Port of Turku received an unexpected piece of tragic news on Thursday, 2 April 2020. Harbour Master and Port Security Officer Kari Riutta had deceased unexpectedly the same morning.
Kari Riutta was born in Tampere on 31 July 1961. He completed his matriculation examination in Turun Lyseo in 1980 and then worked as a stevedore and port supervisor in the Port of Turku. After completing the vocational seafaring school in Helsinki and practice at sea, Kari studied to become First Mate in Rauma from 1984–1986. Kari graduated as Sea Captain in Turku in 1992.
In various First Mate duties Kari sailed on both passenger and cargo ships under the flags of Finland, Norway, the Bahamas, and Cayman Islands. He worked as a sounding manager in hydrographic survey, and as First Mate and Captain on fairway vessels.
Kari returned to the Port of Turku in 1995. After having worked as a Harbour Pilot he continued his career as Harbour Inspector, then as Deputy Harbour Master, and from 2007 on as Harbour Master. In the Port, Kari was a well-liked, highly appreciated and widely known person both among the Port’s own staff and other operators.
Kari Riutta was a reliable and multi-skilled person. He possessed vast general knowledge and extensive knowledge of sea history and history of the port. Alongside his own position Kari acted for several years as the Chairman of Suomen Satamapäällystöyhdistys (Finland’s port officers association) and as a Board member of Merenkulkualan opetuksen ja tutkimuksen kannatusyhdistys ry (support association for teaching and research of seafaring industry). Furthermore, Kari was a member of e.g. the Ship Historical Society of Finland.
In addition to sea history, Kari loved jazz music in particular. As a musical person he mastered trumpet and trombone, and often sat down at the piano in a restaurant to entertain people. One of his more unusual hobbies was steam trains. Kari was trained as a fireman of a steam locomotive and had also acted as the fireman in steam locomotive Ukko-Pekka.
Kari Riutta will be missed by his family as well as a large circle of friends and co-operation partners at work and leisure activities. We as his colleagues remember Kari as a gentleman with a sense of humour and as a great storyteller who left behind him countless good memories.