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stepping stones of maritime history


In 2003 the Swedish company Deep Sea Productions searched a DC 3 of the Swedish airforce which was shot 13 June 1952 by the Sovjet Union somewhere in the Baltic Sea. Not only did they manage to find the aircraft but also discovered the site of a wooden shipwreck, remarkably well preserved on a depth of ca. 130 m.

It was not before 2007 that more detailed images could be made. It appeared to look like a 17th century Dutch cargo ship a fluyt. The next year (november) an international team of scientist was to examine the wreck in detail with a ROV and to take wood samples for dendrochronological analyses.

Institutes involved: Deep Sea Production Södertörn (S), Swedish Maritime Museums (S), Southampton University (UK), Institute for Nautical Archaeology (USA), Rijksmuseum Amsterdam(NL), Universiteit van Amsterdam (NL), De Bataviawerf (NL), Stichting RING (NL), Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed (NL).


Type: Fluyt (Fluit in Dutch), 3 masts.

Built: Probably Dutch built.

The extremely well preserved ship stands on the seabed and is one of the best preserved 17th century fluyt ship ever recovered.

Although the ship is somewhat small for a fluyt, as we know it from historical sources, it has every characteristic of the type. Maybe it was a smaller version and could have been called galjoot.

Ornaments and type specification suggests the ship dates somewhere between 1630-1650.

A plank lying on the deck was collected by the ROV. Analysis showed it was spruce (pinus) felled after 1632 and it came from the island Gotland. The plank however was not a part of the ship construction. To find out were it was built a sample of the hull is needed.


The wreck is extremely well preserved lying deep and due to the absence of the teredo navalis or shipworm in this part Baltic Sea. Due to climate change the shipworm is advancing and recently also in the Baltic Sea.


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