Wind quest reveals mysterious Baltic shipwreck

The unidentified shipwreck (Ignitis Renewables)
The unidentified shipwreck (Ignitis Renewables)

A large shipwreck has been found at a depth of 38m in the Baltic Sea by a company researching sites for Lithuania’s first offshore wind-farm – and the mysterious vessel now awaits a diving survey to date and identify it.  

Green-energy company Ignitis Renewables discovered the 70m-long wreck standing some 6m off the seabed during a survey expedition onboard the geophysical research vessel Fugro Frontier.

The Lithuanian company had been scanning a 120sq km area of seabed said never to have been studied in detail before, with the intention of constructing a wind-farm with capacity to supply a quarter of Lithuania’s electricity. 

“We informed the responsible authorities of the country – this find was not recorded in the databases,” said Ignitis Renewables communications partner Paulius Kalmantas. “What kind of find it is will be able to be finally confirmed after additional historical and underwater archaeological research. 

“We believe that the collected extremely high-quality data will be valuable for the country's scientific community and historians,”

Such a find is rare in Lithuania's Baltic waters, where only 19 shipwrecks are included in its Register of Cultural Values, according to chief specialist Augustina Kuriliene of the Ministry of Culture (KPD)'s Department of Cultural Heritage.

“In implementing the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Heritage, KPD plans to enter the mentioned ship into the Inventory of Immovable Cultural Heritage,” she said. “Once the ship's dating becomes clear, a decision will be made on its registration in the Register of Cultural Values.”

Underwater heritage expert Dr Elena Pranckenaite described the find as “extremely interesting” for underwater archaeologists as well as maritime historians, and said that the wreck needed to be preserved to allow for further research.

Also on Divernet: Delta clearance divers stay agile in Lithuania, Divers find bones, boots and weapons, WW2 aircraft wreck latest in string of Estonia finds

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