Well-preserved 300 year-old frigate discovered in the gulf of Finland

Well-preserved 300 year-old frigate discovered in the gulf of Finland

Divers reported that the vessel was extremely well-preserved and that the wooden structures were in surprisingly good condition, since all cannons were still located on the gun deck.

Researchers plan to continue their work during the summer. Weather conditions permitting, the Finnish research company SubZone will dive to probe the wreck and further document their findings.

The wreck, which has been confirmed to be that of 300-year-old frigate Huis te Warmelo was found at a depth of 64 metres near Helsinki. The vessel was once part of the Dutch navy, specifically a region known as West Frisia. The ship was identified on the basis of hull dimensions, location, structure and armament.

Sank upright

No other frigate from the latter part of the Dutch golden age has been found in such sound condition. The Huis te Warmeloapparently ran aground in the shallows off Helsinki before quickly sinking to the sea bottom. Research indicates that the ship sank in an upright position after running aground, explaining why all 17 cannon on the upper gun deck are still in their original positions.

The ship was first detected years ago by the Finnish maritime administration MKL as it was mapping the seabed. However it wasn't until 2014 it was confirmed that the vessel was a 35-metre triple-mast frigate.

Researchers leaned on Russian and Swedish archive material to determine that the ship didn’t belong to either seafaring power. Officials then stated looking to other countries with naval forces. Historian Peter Swart helped solve the mystery of the ship’s origins when he unearthed an old Dutch sea chart, which marked the spot where the warship had gone down. The date of the sinking was recorded as 1715.


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