Estonian divers have discovered what they believe to be one of Russia's first battle submarines. Akula was the first Russian submarine able to cruise long distances. In 1912 Akula made the world's first multi-torpedo volley with five torpedoes.
The 400-ton Russian submarine, commissioned in 1911, was the biggest in the pre-revolutionary Russian navy. During the first world war, she served in the Baltic Fleet making 16 patrols and unsuccessfully attacked the German coastal defence ship SMS Beowulf.
In November 1915 during her 17th patrol, she struck a mine and sank near Hiiumaa with the loss of all 35 seamen and came to rest at a depth of about 30 meters.
Last month a vessel matching the Shark's description was found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea by divers from the company Technical Diving Estonia, Delfi.ee reported.
Russian and Latvian divers then joined for a fresh expedition with the Estonian team after hearing the sub had a blown-off nose cone and three distinctive propellers.
That made us think it could be the famous Akula [Shark], but we weren't sure until we made the dive," diver Konstantin Bogdanov, told the UK daily the Telegraph in a telephone interview. "Part of the outer shell of the craft at the stern was still intact and suddenly we could see, through the shells stuck to the hull, the word 'Akula' in white lettering."