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Body of missing diver found on wreck of Gustloff

On Wednesday, 5 June, French army divers found the corpse of a diver during an illegal dive on the wreck of the Gustloff. On 6 June, a Baltictech team dives on the wreck, which also comes across the body of a diver, and then notifies the relevant services. According to preliminary findings, the found body
Published: June 7, 2019 - 17:40
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:18
Body of missing diver found on wreck of Gustloff

On Wednesday, 5 June, French army divers found the corpse of a diver during an illegal dive on the wreck of the Gustloff.

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On 6 June, a Baltictech team dives on the wreck, which also comes across the body of a diver, and then notifies the relevant services. According to preliminary findings, the found body belongs to a man who went missing on 28 July 2012.

The French ship was heading for the port of Kiel, but on the way it was decided, as an exercise, to perform an illegal dive on the the wreck of the German liner “Wilhelm Gustloff”. While in this position and conducting a dive without permission, the French were spotted by a Polish Border Guard plane.

As the presence of the foreign vessel and the conduct of the dive on the protected wreck was no longer a secret, the French reported to the Border Guard that a diver’s corpse had been found on the wreck during the dive. The Border Guard officers then passed the information about the diver’s body to the Maritime Search and Rescue Service – SAR.

On 6 June, the Baltictech team dives on the wreck of the “Gustloff”, which has permission from the Maritime Office in Gdynia to conduct photo-video documentation. The divers also find the corpse, which upon returning on board informs VTS Zatoka and the Police and Prosecutor’s Office in Lębork.

Then today – 7 June, in consultation with the police, Baltictech divers are conducting another dive to collect documentation and mark the location where the body was found with a buoy.

The found corpse probably belongs to a diver who went missing almost 7 years ago – on 28 July 2012. In the diving community the case was known as “Terra 2″. All due to the fact that the disappearance was reported while diving on the wreck of the tanker “Terra” located near the “Gustloff”. The case in more detail reported in the media in early 2019.

Debris on the wreck of the Gustloff – updated at 18.35:

From the information Tomasz Stachura gave us during a telephone conversation, we know that it was he who came across the body. The body was located amidships, in a place which is not very interesting from a diving point of view. This may explain why the body remained unnoticed for a long time (or why no one reported it due to the ban on diving on Gustloff). During dives, usually the stern and bow of the wreck are the main target. However, this time it was a matter of making an accurate photographic documentation of the wreck.

We also know that the diver found was equipped with a fair amount of distinctive equipment. This should allow his relatives to identify him quite easily. All details that could be useful in the investigation and reconstruction of the course of events were also carefully photographed. The place where the body was found excludes the possibility that it could have drifted e.g. from the wreck of the Terra.

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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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