Baltic

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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Wreck of Hanseatic kogge in Trave river
Dives showed that the wreck is at serious risk of erosion and exposed parts were infested with shipworm

375-Year-Old Shipwreck Found in German River

The shipwreck, which has been found to be about 375 years old, was found nearly 36 feet beneath the surface of the Trave River - a river in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, which flows into the Baltic Sea at Travemünde. The ship was found during routine measurements of the river by the local waterway and shipping authority which detected an anomaly at the river bottom using a multibeam echosounder.

(File photo) Swedish Coast guard apprehended divers in the process of plundering protected shipwrecks.

Four divers charged with systematic plunder of protected wrecks in the Baltic

The Swedish Coast Guard apprehended the divers in July 2020, as they were found retrieving artifacts from a wreck off the Baltic island of Öland. A subsequent house search uncovered a large number of objects, which were suspected to originate from wrecks classified as protected. Among the objects was an iron cannon dated to the 17th century.

The indictment includes ten charges for incidents during a number of dives that took place from 2013 to 2020. Two of the men stand charged on all counts. 

The Plus Wreck: Late 19th-Century Windjammer in Finland's Åland Islands

A rare photo of the sailing ship Plus at anchor in a harbour
A rare photo of the sailing ship Plus at anchor in a harbour. Source: Åland Maritime Museum

Located in the Åland Archi­pelago of the Baltic Sea is the wreck of the late 19th-century, German-made, three-masted, iron-hulled barque named Plus, which was lost on a stormy night in 1933. Andrea Murdock Alpini describes his journey there and his dives on this wreck.

Stern of the wreck. The stern post ends to opening in planking, tiller moved in it. The transom has been above this structure. Uppermost planks on the sides of the stern have fallen away.
Stern of the wreck. The stern post ends to opening in planking, tiller moved in it. The transom has been above this structure. Uppermost planks on the sides of the stern have fallen away.

The age of a unique fluit in the Baltic Sea resolved

Badewanne originally discovered the wreck last year at the depth of 85m. This summer, during the filming of the documentary film Fluit, the dive team found the transom of the exceptionally well-preserved wreck.

As the divers succeeded in turning over the transom, which was lying face down on the seabed, an engraving with the year 1636 was revealed, along with an image of a swan. The swan is presumed to represent the name of the ship. The divers also took measurements of the wreck to determine the accurate size of the vessel.

Soviet Sub found and identified

According to Wallin's report, UMEX (Underwater Exploration Team) found and identified Sch-317 yesterday, 2 May 2018.

This Soviet submarine lies at 78 meters / 255 ft between Gogland (Suursaari) and Tuiters (Tytärsaari) in the east part of the Gulf of Finland in Russian waters.

Sch-317 was sunk in 1942 by a German mine after surviving several attacks by allies that included bombing the Swedish coast.

The submarine's final resting place is near her home port.

Imperial Russian submarine Akula (Russian: Акула - Shark) and armoured cruiser Ryurik, 1913

WW1 Russian submarine located by Estonian divers

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.