A Danish research expedition has discovered and explored well-preserved shipwrecks hundreds of years old resting in the depths of the Baltic Sea.
A team of experts from the West Jutland Sea War Museum has just returned from an expedition in the Baltic Sea. During it, the researchers located and documented three unique and extremely well-preserved shipwrecks. According to the information made available, the wrecks are more than 300 years old and are in an excellent state of preservation.
Among the discovered wrecks, the researchers identified two of them as merchant shipwrecks from the Netherlands. In turn, they classified the third and largest of the discovered wrecks as a Scandinavian vessel. All three wrecks stand evenly on their keel like ghost ships for which time has almost stopped.
Their very good state of preservation was certainly influenced by a number of factors, including their great depth – about 150 meters, low temperature, low salinity of the Baltic Sea, as well as low oxygen and lack of sunlight. Not without significance is the particularly considerable depth, which has put the wrecks beyond the reach of the nets of modern fishing vessels. Thus, they have escaped accidental hooking and the resulting damage.
It was amazing to see the wrecks appear on the screen as we sent the camera robot to the bottom. The wrecks stood almost like the day they sank a few hundred years ago. I’ve dived all my life and explored hundreds of wrecks, but I’ve never seen anything like this. The ships stood as if they had just been abandoned – said Gert Normann Andersen, expedition leader and director of the Sea War Museum Jutland.
The expedition, during which researchers uncovered and explored centuries-old shipwrecks, was conducted in October. It was organized by the Sea War Museum Jutland of Thyborøn in cooperation with the Danish company JD-Contractor. The latter entity once again provided the Sima marine vessel and ROV underwater robots.
Two photogrammetry experts – Ingemar Lundgren and Fredrik Skorg– took part in the expedition to create detailed documentation. They used an ROV equipped with an advanced camera, which allowed them to collect high-quality footage and photographs. Based on these, the baj experts were able to create virtual 3D models that faithfully reproduce the wrecks they found. Such scientific aids are particularly valuable for investigating deep-seated wrecks that are very difficult to reach.
Photo: JD Contractors
Fascinators of history will undoubtedly enjoy Karina Kowalska’s article, The Unraveling of Leonardo. Its second part was published in the 20th issue of our DIVERS24 quarterly! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while you can purchase the printed version in our online store.
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