Wrecks & Archaeology

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

Nearly intact ancient shipwrecks found in the Baltic

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.

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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.

Äpplet, port side by lower gundeck
Äpplet, port side by lower gundeck

Vasa's sister ship discovered

Launched in 1629, Applet (Apple) was built by the same shipbuilder as the famed 69-metre Vasa, which was carrying 64 cannons when it went down in a strait off the island of Vaxholm, just outside the capital, Stockholm. Vasa was meant to serve as a symbol of Sweden’s military might at the time but capsized after sailing just over 1,000 metres. It was salvaged in 1961 and is on display at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, one of Sweden’s most popular tourist spots.

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Northeast Wrecks – Part 3: Artificial Reef Wrecks

Venturo Tug, New Jersey, USA
Diver at propeller of Venturo Tug, Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

In Part One and Part Two of this series, we discussed US Northeast wrecks that sank because of collisions and war. There are also many structures that have purposely been sunk as artificial reefs off the New York and New Jersey coasts. Larry Cohen and Olga Torrey have the story.

Multibeam sonar image of the SS Mesaba lying on the sea bed in the Irish Sea.

The ship that tried to warn the Titanic has been found

The British merchant steamship SS Mesaba sent a warning radio message to the Titanic on April 15, 1912 while crossing the Atlantic. The message was received by the Titanic – which was advertised as unsinkable – but did not reach the main control centre of the vessel.

Later that night, the supposedly unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage, taking 1,500 lives and becoming the world’s most infamous shipwreck.

Ancient shipwreck reveals a lost age of Mediterranean trade

According to the archaeologists, despite the religious tensions in the area, the shipwreck demonstrates that commerce was still thriving since it carried products from all over the Mediterranean, including Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey, and the coast of North Africa.

It was around the time the largely Christian Byzantine Empire was in decline and had begun losing its grip on this eastern Mediterranean region while Islamic rule was extending its reach.

Diver reaches Liberator 589D aircraft wreck
Diver reaches Liberator 589D aircraft wreck.

Divers confirm discovery of WWII bomber in Gander Lake

The plane crashed upon take-off when the engine failed on 4 September 1943. The aircraft made a slow turn and barrel-rolled into Gander Lake, Newfoundland. The four-crew members did not survive.

At the time of the crash in 1943, military hardhat divers found the aircraft “Liberator 589D” on a ledge in Gander Lake. They attempted to attach cables to the fuselage to salvage the plane. They were also recovering the body of Squadron Leader John G. MacKenzie.

A cog typical of Hansa ships in the 13th century. Illustration by Willy Stöwer after impressions from a seal of the city of Elbing
A cog typical of Hansa ships in the 13th century. Illustration by Willy Stöwer after impressions from a seal of the city of Elbing

Rare centuries-old wreck found on Sweden’s western coast

Interview and text by Mimo Moqvist
Translation edited by G. Symes

“Yes, it is actually a slightly special story. We were really looking for a completely different wreck, from the 16th century. As early as 2005, I got in touch with a man whose father had found a wreck outside Dyngö when he was fishing for trout,” said von Arbin.

The father who found the wreck was no longer alive, but the son tipped off von Arbin about the find and told him that he had material that von Arbin and his team could see.