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stepping stones of maritime history


In the vicinity of a marine traffic separation scheme near Kiel lighthouse, the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany (BSH: Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie) discovered an unknown wreck in 1984 at a depth of 17-20 metres. The wreck was later visited by wreck-divers and scientific divers of the University of Kiel.


The wreck is a typical Dutch tjalk, propulsed by an engine and sails, as indicated by the finding of the ship's propeller and the rudiment of a mast between the cargo hatches. It was built of iron plates rivetted together, thus providing a rough date between the late 19th- and early 20th-century. Its starboard leeboard is still preserved. The two hatchways of 8,40 x 3,50 and 1,7 x 1,7 metres are protected by a coaming measuring half a metre in height. Three windlasses are placed on the deck and the rudiment of a deckhouse has been observed on the poop.

In 1990 the ship's bell was recovered by professional divers, but there was no engraving of the ship's name on the bell, so the identity of the wreck still remains unknown.

Length78.7 feet (24 m)
Width16.4 feet (5 m)


As one of the world's most frequented waterways, diving is very restricted in this area, which may explain the good state of preservation. The wreck is covered by barnacles.

Starting at 1:43 in below video, some footage of the wreck can be viewed.


  • Huber, F. (2014).
    Unterwasserarchäologische, nicht-invasive Prospektions- und Dokumentationsverfahren in schwierigen maritimen und limnischen Gewässern (=Dissertation).
    Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel.
  • Oppelt, I. (2019).
    Wracktauchen: Die schönsten Tauchplätze der Ostsee.

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