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First dive on the wreck of the L-2 submarine

A team consisting of divers from Finland and Russia conducted the first dive on the wreck of the submarine L-2. The vessel was sunk during World War II and lies on the bottom in Estonia’s territorial waters. The expedition to the wreck was carried out as part of the Russian project “Homage to the Ships
Published: May 11, 2019 - 18:58
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:11
First dive on the wreck of the L-2 submarine

A team consisting of divers from Finland and Russia conducted the first dive on the wreck of the submarine L-2. The vessel was sunk during World War II and lies on the bottom in Estonia’s territorial waters. The expedition to the wreck was carried out as part of the Russian project “Homage to the Ships of the Great Victory”.

The main objective of the dive on the wreck of the L-2 was to conduct a visual inspection and determine the causes of the sinking, as well as to produce photographic and video documentation, which will be used to make a virtual model of the ship. The L-2 sank in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, near the Juminda Peninsula and rests at a depth of 87 metres.

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The sinking of the ship took place in November 1941, when the ship was on its way to patrol in the Baltic Sea, participating in a convoy to the Hanko Peninsula. According to the information we have, the ship L-2 probably stepped on a mine and lost steering as a result of the explosion. The crew was ordered to leave the ship, but due to the mistake of the trawler, which was ordered to take the crew on board, they remained on the damaged submarine.

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As a result of this incident, the crew of the L-2 drifted on the defective ship for the next two days, until they ran into another mine, which eventually led to the sinking of the vessel. The ship sank with her stern to the bottom, with the bow raised towards the surface, and in this position she remains to this day. All armament is prepared to open fire and the main hatch is closed.

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Estonian authorities report that the wreck of the L-2 submarine, was found in 2010, during activities carried out by the hydrographic team of the local maritime authority. At first, the wreck was incorrectly identified as Shch-301 and it was only in 2012 that members of the Finnish diving group Divers of the Dark and Mikhail Ivanov, made the correct identification.

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A noteworthy curiosity is that one of the crew members of the submarine L-2, was the famous Soviet poet Alexei Lebedev.

On 11 May 2019, an international team launched the second part of an expedition to search for and identify Soviet submarines lost during World War II in the Gulf of Finland. The team is now focusing on the search for the lost submarines Shch-301, M-98 and “Kalev”.

The band includes Finnish SubZone members Immi Wallin, Sami Paakkarinen, Jenni Westerlund and Russian UWEX group Konstantin Bogdanov, Mikhail Ivanov, Ivan Borovikov, Innokentiy Olhovoy, Evgey Zagadsky and Denis Osipov.

Source: SubZone, UWEX,
Photo: Sami Paakkarinen

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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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