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900 bottles of rare alcohol were recovered from a 100-year-old wreck! - video

A group of Swedish and Icelandic prospectors have found 900 bottles of rare spirits that were bound for the court of Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II. The unusual treasure was excavated by the Ocean X team from the wreck of a 102-year-old steamer at a depth of more than 75 metres at the bottom of the
Published: November 18, 2019 - 18:27
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:50
900 bottles of rare alcohol were recovered from a 100-year-old wreck! – video

A group of Swedish and Icelandic prospectors have found 900 bottles of rare spirits that were bound for the court of Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II. The unusual treasure was excavated by the Ocean X team from the wreck of a 102-year-old steamer at a depth of more than 75 metres at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

The project to search for, find and extract 900 bottles containing rare cognac and liqueurs from the wreck of the Swedish steamer S/S “Kyros”, was initiated 20 years ago. It was then that the wreck was found for the first time. Unfortunately, its position was soon lost. Today we can write another chapter of this story when the contents of the hold were finally delivered ashore on 22 October 2019. And it was not an easy task …discovery

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All because of the extremely difficult access to the wreck. Over the past century, the waiting S/S “Kyros” has been covered by a huge amount of ghost nets. The Ocean X group spent several years clearing the wreck so that divers and ROV robots could safely explore it and extract the cargo.

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The story of the ship’s sinking itself is interesting. In 1917 the vessel became a victim of warfare during the First World War. The steamer, flying the flag of neutral Sweden, was on a protracted voyage from France, via Sweden, to St Petersburg. Unfortunately, a strong winter held up the crew’s voyage to the Russian Empire, which was originally scheduled to take place in December 1916.

Finally, in May 1917, when she was able to set sail, for the steamer “Kyros” it turned out to be the last voyage in which she was to participate. After leaving the coast of Scandinavia, the ship was stopped by the German submarine UC58, whose captain classified part of the steamer’s cargo as contraband and ordered the vessel to be blown up with an explosive charge.

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The 600 bottles of De Haartman & Co. cognac and 300 bottles of Bénédictine liqueurs, a brand now owned by the Bacardi concern, that were in the hold went to the bottom. Fortunately, no one was killed as the crew of the S/S “Kyros” were transferred to the deck of a ship passing nearby.

The precious cargo was preserved under water for over 100 years, thanks to the unique conditions that prevail in the waters of the Baltic Sea. Low temperatures, no sunlight reaching such depths and little oxygen, created a combination that allowed the cargo to survive almost intact. Much worse is the wreck itself, which was severely damaged by the aforementioned fishing nets.

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Bacardi brand representatives are extremely excited about the news of the find and are waiting for the story to continue. Above all, they are keen to find out whether the Bénédictine liqueurs left for 100 years in the depths of the sea have stood the test of time and are now fit for consumption. Discussions are also currently underway to determine the estimated value of the spirits found.

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As for the cognac, the band has still not established the brand or the approximate value of the find. According to Ocean X, they do not want to open any of the bottles, as the price for a single bottle can reach tens of thousands of euros.

Given similar discoveries in past years, one can be moderately but reasonably optimistic, both about the suitability for consumption and the price that the excavated bottles will fetch at auction.

Source: oceanexplorer.se

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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