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The wreck of a steamer from 1940 has been found in Norway

Near Bergen, on the west coast of Norway, a group of technical divers found a very interesting wreck of a World War II steamer. They then spent the next three years documenting the vessel in detail and creating a detailed 3D model. The wreck of the S/S “Draugen” was found at a depth of 120
Published: July 15, 2020 - 12:35
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 20:20
The wreck of a steamer from 1940 has been found in Norway

Near Bergen, on the west coast of Norway, a group of technical divers found a very interesting wreck of a World War II steamer. They then spent the next three years documenting the vessel in detail and creating a detailed 3D model.

The wreck of the S/S “Draugen” was found at a depth of 120 metres by a group of West Coast Divers in the summer of 2017. It was an honour for Vegard Sandvik and Hans Petter Holthe to be able to conduct the first dive on the newly discovered vessel, which was last seen still on the surface. As the divers themselves admitted, the sight was spectacular.

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The wreck of a steamer from 1940 has been found in Norway From then on, the group worked diligently on the project, systematically carrying out successive dives to collect photographic and video documentation and to map the wreck, which still remembers the Second World War.

“In the winter of 2017, we searched for the wreck using side scan sonar, but were unable to obtain satisfactory results due to the extremely difficult topography in the area. We had to dive to be able to find the wreck and this is how we located it. We succeeded already on the first dive!” – said Sandvik

West Coast Divers is a loose group of keen technical divers who are passionate about documenting wrecks and sharing information about maritime history. The three-year project has involved Vegard Sandvik, Ole Idar Bruvik, Remi Kronstad, Davide Bertolini and Espen Olsen.

Today, the group has published fantastic video footage taken during their dives, as well as an advanced 3D model of the wreck. The date of publication – July 15 – was also not chosen at random. It was on this day, in 1940, that the steamer “Draugen” went missing.

The wreck of a steamer from 1940 has been found in Norway Measuring 110 metres in length, the vessel belonged to Ålesund-based shipowner Fladmarks Sønner A / S, and on 15 July 1940 was engaged in salvage work at Sagvåg on the island of Stord. When the vessel passed Steinsneset near Bergen around noon, she hit a German mine and sank literally within minutes. Six of the 10 crew members were killed at the time, including Captain Knut Andreas Berg.

As it turns out, finding and then exploring and examining the wreck was not only a challenge for the group, but also a stimulus to grow and learn on many levels.

“Some of us had to take additional courses to be able to participate in the project and dive on the wreck. We also spent a lot of time learning software to produce 3D models.” – explains Sandvik

Another time-consuming task was to take more than 1,100 underwater photographs that were later used in the 3D model. The result was a 360-degree view of the wreck, which can be viewed from any angle. This is another successful example of the use of modern technology in maritime archaeology.

“Draugen” settled almost evenly on its keel. The 80-year-old wreck is in exceptionally good condition. Especially if we take into account the extremely powerful explosion that sent the steamer to the bottom and the passage of time, which has a negative effect on sunken objects.

Source: Dykking

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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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