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In the Baltic Sea, divers have identified a beautiful wreck from the 19th century

In the Baltic Sea, a group of technical divers has identified a mysterious wreck. It turned out that the vessel, which researchers located in September, is the wreck of the English ship Annie from 1891. In mid-September, the Swedish Maritime Administration located in the Baltic Sea mysterious wreck. During a survey that scientists carried out
Published: October 18, 2021 - 06:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 23:27
In the Baltic Sea, divers have identified a beautiful wreck from the 19th century

In the Baltic Sea, a group of technical divers has identified a mysterious wreck. It turned out that the vessel, which researchers located in September, is the wreck of the English ship Annie from 1891.

In mid-September, the Swedish Maritime Administration located in the Baltic Sea mysterious wreck. During a survey that scientists carried out off the coast of northern Sweden, they located a merchant ship wreck measuring 74 metres in length at a depth of just 35 metres. As the agency does not investigate wrecks, divers took the matter of identification into their own hands.

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Steering wheel fragment on a Baltic wreck
One of the beautiful artefacts that we managed to photograph is the steering wheel photo Mikael Rönnkvist / Simon Kenttä

Our task is not to investigate wrecks, but to determine what the fairway looks like. In this way we can determine whether it is safe to navigate in a particular location. This translates into improved overall safety in the area said Carl-Johan Linde of the Swedish Maritime Administration.

According to Carl-Johan Linde, divers or researchers from the National Maritime Museum in Stockholm are usually responsible for identifying wrecks. In this case, too, things worked out that way. The more than 70-metre-long wreck, which rests at such a shallow depth in the Baltic Sea, quickly caught the interest of Simon Kenttä and his colleagues.

We are a small group of divers who usually dive together. When we saw that the Swedish Maritime Administration had made such an interesting discovery, we became interested in the wreck. said Kenttä

The bell of the ship Annie from 1891
Ship’s bell found on the wreck photo Mikael Rönnkvist / Simon Kenttä
Search

First it was necessary to determine the exact position of the wreck. After conducting a preliminary reconnaissance, the divers identified four sites worth checking. However, during the dive on the first three… they found absolutely nothing. This did not discourage them, however, and they decided to dive also on the last selected position.

When we sank to the bottom, we could see absolutely nothing but the light of the torches. The water was pitch black. Then, suddenly, the wreck appeared before our eyes! Immediately we noticed the beautiful wooden details, which were not missing on the wreck. It was really fantastic! reports Simon Kenttä

Telegram found on wreck off Swedish coast
The divers also located the telegraph photo Mikael Rönnkvist / Simon Kenttä
Identification

The main objective of the group during the dive was to try and identify the wreck. So far, apart from the dimensions, little was known about the vessel found in the Baltic Sea. The only scans available were sonar scans provided by Swedish researchers. However, not much came out of them in terms of determining the name and origin of the ship.

We started swimming around the wreck, looking for details that would help determine the name of the ship. This is usually found on certain elements, such as the bell, and it was this that interested us most. Quite quickly we found a steering wheel with “Annie” written on it, and later also a ship’s bell with the name engraved on it. At the very end, at the stern, we found some brass letters that once formed the word “Annie”. Unfortunately some of them have fallen off. said Kenttä

Last letters of the ship's name
The brass letters that once formed the name Annie photo Mikael Rönnkvist / Simon Kenttä
History

The ship Annie originated in the UK, where it was built in 1877 in Sunderland. From 1889 the vessel was owned by Frederick Gordon of Newcastle. On 16 July 1891 the Annie called at Sävenäs, where she undertook a timber transport. Unfortunately, the vessel later ran aground in Êngesön and began to take on water. A steamer came to the rescue of the English sailors and tried to tow the Annie towards Umeå. Unfortunately, these efforts were to no avail and on 17 July the ship sank with all her cargo. Fortunately, there was no tragedy and no one died.

Shipwreck steering wheel with name
Steering wheel with the name of the ship and the city of London visible photographed by Mikael Rönnkvist / Simon Kenttä

As a result of these events, today the northern coast of Sweden has been enriched by a beautiful wreck, which is in very good condition. Undoubtedly, it must be admitted that it is a real rarity for a 19th century vessel measuring over 70 m to be so easily accessible for divers. Certainly, in the coming years the wreck of the Annie will attract many divers from all over Europe. After all, looking at the pictures, who wouldn’t want to see it all with their own eyes?

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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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