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Nearly intact ancient shipwrecks found in the Baltic

Nearly intact ancient shipwrecks found in the Baltic

A team from the Sea War Museum Jutland have located and filmed three unique and exceptionally well-preserved shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea. The ships are presumed to be over 300 years old and appear virtually untouched on the seabed.

Cannon wreck seen from starboard bow
Cannon wreck seen from starboard bow

The discoveries in the Baltic Sea are unprecedented and have revealed shipwrecks hundreds of years old. Two of them are with great certainty cargo vessels from the Netherlands, while the third and largest is supposed to be a Scandinavian vessel.

All three shipwrecks stand like ghost ships almost unscathed in total darkness on the seabed at a depth of approximately 150 meters and beyond the reach of modern fishing vessels.

"It was fantastic to see the wrecks appear on the screen when we sent an underwater robot with a camera down to the seabed. The wrecks stood almost as they did the day they sank hundreds of years ago. I have been diving all my life and have examined hundreds of wrecks, but I have never seen anything like this. The ships stood as if they had just been abandoned," says Gert Norman Andersen, expedition leader and director of Sea War Museum Jutland.

The expedition took place in October in collaboration with Danish JD-Contractor, who provided the offshore ship Sima and underwater robots with advanced technology, and with the participation of experts from the National Museum. The expedition, with a total of 27 participants, set out with the aim of investigating the breakdown of wrecks and materials underwater.

But no one expected to find wrecks that are so well preserved, says Andersen.

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In order to obtain the best footage, two Swedish photogrammetry experts Ingemar Lundgren and Fredrik Skorg from the company Ocean Discovery took part in the expedition. An underwater robot equipped with an advanced camera brought thousands of images to the surface and reproduces with great precision a virtual image of the wrecks as they actually appear.

The pictures are so detailed that you get the feeling of being able to walk around a ship that sank hundreds of years ago.

Image
Stettiner galeas of the same type as the wreck. Painting by Niels Truslew 1805. 
Sources
Sea War Museum
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