Finland: 17th to 19th-Century Wrecks at Hanko

Diver at port side of the figurehead wreck Osborn & Elisabeth in Hanko, Finland
Diver at port side of the wooden figurehead wreck Osborn & Elisabeth in Hanko, Finland

To help promote dive tourism in the Baltic Sea, the European Union’s Project Baltacar, a collaboration between Sweden, Finland and Estonia, has developed underwater heritage trails for visiting a selection of unique wreck sites in the three countries. In Finland, the project has established buoys and created dive site maps for a group of five wrecks from the 17th to the 19th centuries, located just outside Hanko. Susanne Lundvall reports.

The Plus Wreck: Late 19th-Century Windjammer in Finland's Åland Islands

A rare photo of the sailing ship Plus at anchor in a harbour
A rare photo of the sailing ship Plus at anchor in a harbour. Source: Åland Maritime Museum

Located in the Åland Archi­pelago of the Baltic Sea is the wreck of the late 19th-century, German-made, three-masted, iron-hulled barque named Plus, which was lost on a stormy night in 1933. Andrea Murdock Alpini describes his journey there and his dives on this wreck.

Researchers plan to continue their work during the summer. Weather conditions permitting, the Finnish research company SubZone will dive to probe the wreck and further document their findings.

Well-preserved 300 year-old frigate discovered in the gulf of Finland

The wreck, which has been confirmed to be that of 300-year-old frigate Huis te Warmelo was found at a depth of 64 metres near Helsinki. The vessel was once part of the Dutch navy, specifically a region known as West Frisia. The ship was identified on the basis of hull dimensions, location, structure and armament.

Finnish media report the find of 15th century treasure ship

Finland’s accomplished diver and wreck researcher Rauno Koivusaari, who discovered the famous treasure ship Vrouw Maria in 1999, has now also found the wreck of the Hanneke Wrome just south of the island of Jussarö in Finland. According to historic documents, the ship was carrying 10,000 gold coins, estimated to be worth around €50 million today.

A Finnish brewery has recreated a Belgian beer from bottles that sank 170 years ago on a merchant ship in the Baltic Sea

Wreck beer recreated

The brew was reproduced thanks to elaborate research by Finnish and Belgian scientists who teamed up after the wreckage was discovered off Finland's Aaland Islands in 2010.

Divers exploring 40 feet down found only five bottles of beer next to 145 champagne bottles -- confirmed as the world's oldest drinkable bubbly -- in the long-lost wreck. The Government of the autonomous Åland Islands is the owner of the findings and had the beers analyzed at VTT Technical Research Center in Finland.

Imperial Russian submarine Akula (Russian: Акула - Shark) and armoured cruiser Ryurik, 1913

WW1 Russian submarine located by Estonian divers

The 400-ton Russian submarine, commissioned in 1911, was the biggest in the pre-revolutionary Russian navy. During the first world war, she served in the Baltic Fleet making 16 patrols and unsuccessfully attacked the German coastal defence ship SMS Beowulf.

In November 1915 during her 17th patrol, she struck a mine and sank near Hiiumaa with the loss of all 35 seamen and came to rest at a depth of about 30 meters.

  U-26 was lost with all hands in August 1915
U-26 was lost with all hands in August 1915

Finnish divers locate intact WW1 German submarine in the Baltic

At the beginning of World War I the German submarine U-26 disappeared without a trace.

On October 11, 1914, she sank the Russian cruiser Pallada inflicting the first loss of the war on the Russian navy. The boat did not return from sea in August 1915 and is assumed to have struck a mine or suffered a technical failure off the coast of Finland.

The Finnish group of divers who goes by the name Badewanne states on their website:

Beer discovered two years ago onboard a shipwreck from the mid-1800s could possibly be recreated using living bacteria discovered in the brew, Finnish researchers announced last Thursday. Source: redOrbit (

Beer from 1840's shipwreck anyone?

A few bottles of beer were found in an old shipwreck in the archipelago of Åland in Finland during the summer of 2010. Researchers have now managed to isolate four different species of live lactic acid bacteria from the beer.

The 2010 discovery of the ship, believed to have sunk in the 1840s, also included the world's oldest champagne considered drinkable which has since been auctioned off.

A German U-boat sank SS Kyros in 1917 while she was transporting a precious cargo of cognac
A German U-boat sank SS Kyros in 1917 while she was transporting a precious cargo of cognac

Wreck laden with precious cognac located in the Baltic

The vessel rests at a depth of 80 meters and appears to be free of mud. According to some reports, it was carrying mixed cargo including steel products and as many as 1,000 bottles of cognac and 300 bottles of liqueur.

Raumanmeren Hylky-Team is a group of divers and wreck hunters who primarily search for shipwrecks in the Baltic sunk by German submarines during the First World War of which they have located around 20.