Monday, July 15, 2024

Volunteer Diving Group Identifies the Age of A Baltic Sea Shipwreck


An international volunteer diving group has succeeded in determining the age of a unique shipwreck lying on the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

The group, called Badewanne, originally discovered the wreck last year at the depth of 85m (279ft). This summer, during the filming of the documentary film ”Fluit,” the diving team found the transom of the exceptionally well-preserved wreck. As the divers succeeded in turning over the transom which was laying facedown on the seabed, an engraving with the year 1636 was revealed along with an image of a swan. The swan is presumed to represent the name of the ship. The divers also took measurements of the wreck to determine the accurate size of the vessel.

Fluit (Image credit- ©Handle Productions 2021)
Fluit (Image credit: ©Handle Productions 2021)

The diving team will continue to research the history of the wreck together with maritime archaeologists Minna Koivikko from the Finnish Heritage Agency and Martijn Manders from the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, along with fluit expert and maritime archaeologist Niklas Eriksson from Stockholm University.

According to Eriksson:

“The identities of ships were revealed by the carved motifs on the transom. Fragments of such motifs have been found before, but now that we have the entire composition, we are able to identify the ship in the same way as people in the 17th century did. The ship was named ‘Swan’ and built in 1636. A closer examination of the transom will most likely reveal the coat of arms for the ship’s home port, as well.”

And Koivikko says:

“This finding restores my faith in miracles. I have never experienced anything like this in my career spanning 30 years.”

The historical documentary film “Fluit,” produced by Handle Productions, follows the investigation of the origin and the mission of the the fluit, a three-masted ship with a very capacious hull design, the identity of her sailors, and her untimely fate in the 17th century Baltic Sea.

(Image credits: ©Handle Productions 2021)

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.