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DNA test confirms identity of Gustloff diver's remains

DNA test results and personal items found have confirmed the identity of the diver’s remains found on the wreck of the “Wilhelm Gustloff”. Just as it was supposed, it is Robert Szlecht from Poznań, who went missing 7 years ago. This closes the chapter of his search and at the same time the prosecutor’s office
Published: July 24, 2019 - 09:49
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:20
DNA test confirms identity of Gustloff diver’s remains

DNA test results and personal items found have confirmed the identity of the diver’s remains found on the wreck of the “Wilhelm Gustloff”.

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Just as it was supposed, it is Robert Szlecht from Poznań, who went missing 7 years ago. This closes the chapter of his search and at the same time the prosecutor’s office launches an investigation to clarify the circumstances of his death.

On Monday, 22 July, the wife of the missing man was finally able to make a visual inspection of the distinctive chain found next to the corpse and easily recognised her husband’s jewellery. In turn, the next day the police informed the relatives of the results of the DNA test, confirming beyond any doubt the identity of the diver.

The case of Robert Szlecht’s disappearance is known in the diving community as “Terra 2” and arouses a lot of emotion. All because of the testimonies of the people accompanying him. Other participants of the dive maintained to the end that it was not conducted on the prohibited wreck of the “Wilhelm Gustloff”, but the nearby wreck of the tanker “Terra”.

This contradicted the testimony of the missing man’s wife, but also caused the search and rescue operation on the surface and the search underwater to be conducted on the wreck of the “Terra” and in its vicinity. Unfortunately, the missing Robert Szlecht was never found. The discovery and identification of the corpse opens the possibility of a definitive explanation of what happened on 28 July 2012.


For technical divers from around the world, the Donegal coast has become synonymous with wreck diving. Among others due to the wreck of the SS Empire Heritage, which we wrote about in issue 17. the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version can be purchased from our online shop.

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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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