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Karlsruhe 2021 expedition - a forced break and more crates

The expedition to the wreck of the German steamer SS Karlsruhe is coming to an end. The Baltictech Group and its accompanying team of specialists are slowly finishing this year’s work and preparing for the conclusion. Two more days of expeditions to the wreck of the German steamer SS Karlsruhe are behind us. Unfortunately, the
Published: September 15, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 23:15
Karlsruhe 2021 expedition – a forced break and more crates

The expedition to the wreck of the German steamer SS Karlsruhe is coming to an end. The Baltictech Group and its accompanying team of specialists are slowly finishing this year’s work and preparing for the conclusion.

Two more days of expeditions to the wreck of the German steamer SS Karlsruhe are behind us. Unfortunately, the weather started to deteriorate and the Baltic showed how unpredictable the sea can be.

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Technical divers plunge into the depths
Divers head for the wreck of the SS Karlsruhe Fot. Łukasz Piórewicz/Baltictech

Today the Baltic Sea showed its true face. Despite optimistic forecasts, we had to let it go. The water in the moonpool, through which the divers dive, was simply crazy and we did not want to risk too much. To be honest, after 8 days of deep and long dives, everyone could use a day off. Our doctor was even happy and said that we would saturate ourselves properly before diving tomorrow.

However, a day without diving is still a day of work. During this type of expedition the number of duties and things to do is enormous. Therefore, the break on the surface allowed us to take care of those things which, so far, have had a lower priority. After all, the exploration and research of the wreck of the German steamer SS Karlsruhe is just the icing on the cake.

Sketch of the wreck made by a diver
Phil Short presents a sketch he has made Photo Baltictech

We decided to use the day to document the work done so far. We created a dive report with a detailed sketch. It turned out that Phil Short is the best at this and did a great drawing, which we will continue to add to.

Return underwater

The tenth day of the Karlsruhe 2021 Expedition saw the return underwater. The participants were able to return to their daily activities and complete the research they had started. The divers managed to expose more of the inscription with the name of the vessel, which they discovered a few days earlier. Thanks to this we are now absolutely sure that the vessel is the wreck of the German steamer SS Karlsruhe.

Dishes found on the wreck of a steamer
The wreck is full of artefacts, Photo Marek Cacaj/Baltictech

We used the penultimate day of the expedition to complete all the research we started. We have the whole wreck of Karlsruhe thoroughly inventoried. We also managed to clean more letters from the inscription KARLSRUHE.

Those who followed the expedition and read the daily Baltictech reports certainly feel unsatisfied. Unfortunately, for the time being, only military equipment and personal belongings of the East Prussian refugees were found in the examined chest s. What should be noted, however, is that only those chests that were already open were examined.

The crew helps the diver to get to the lift
The moon pool proved to be very useful and the Glomar Vantage unit guaranteed everything a diver could wish for Photo: Łukasz Piórewicz/Baltictech

The crates we checked contain military equipment and private belongings of civilian refugees. We decided to leave all the artifacts at the bottom. We have deep faith in the whole diving community and know that they will remain there for a long time. However, if something disappears, it will be easy to determine thanks to our work. We also know that the wreck is well guarded, as a Maritime Authority plane flies over every day.

Today, Wednesday 15 September, is the final day of the Karlsruhe 2021 Expedition, with the Baltictech Group and its supporting team completing this year’s exploration of the wreck. Tomorrow morning the Glomar Vantage vessel will call at the port of Gdynia, closing this exciting chapter. Let us remember, however, that there is still much to be written about the SS Karlsruhe steamer.

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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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