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Soviet sub wreck found near Åland islands

TT/David Landes · 9 Jun 2009, 10:14

Published: 09 Jun 2009 10:14 GMT+02:00

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The vessel, a Soviet S-2 class submarine, was sunk by mines in 1940, killing all 50 crew members onboard at the time

“After searching through a section of water the wreck has now been found in the Åland Sea near the boundary between Sweden and Finland by a Swedish-Ålandic dive team,” the team said in a statement.

The search for the Soviet submarine wreck began more than a decade ago in April 1999.

According to the six-member dive team, there are conflicting accounts regarding the sinking of the submarine.

Documents from the Swedish military archives claim that the S-2 sub was sunk by Swedish mines in Swedish waters, while records in the Finnish military archives say the vessel sank in Finnish waters.

The Åland Islands, located midway between Sweden and Finland in the Baltic Sea, are technically Finnish territory, but have strong cultural and linguistic ties to Sweden.

Among the divers was Ingvald Eckerman, grandson of J.A. Eckerman, who stood watch at the Märket lighthouse on January 2nd, 1940 and witnessed the sinking of the S-2.

Authorities from Sweden and Åland have been informed about the discovery, as has the Russian embassy in Stockholm.

Story continues below…

According to the dive team’s statement, Russia places great importance on finding the remains of the submarine and have long made inquiries with authorities in Sweden and Finland about the fate of the S-2.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:19 June 9, 2009 by Greg in Canada
Interesting find. The article didn't mention what depth the wreck is at. Diving in the Baltic must be cold, dark and poor visibility. I used to do a lot of wreck diving in the Great Lakes where the conditions are the same. Once I started diving in tropical areas that was it for me - no more cold water diving. Bbrrrrrrrr.
21:54 June 9, 2009 by Seacat
Is the wreck on Swedish or Finnish territory? Although the article says that Aland is only technically Finnish territory, the truth is that Aland is only an autonomous part of Finland and so under the Finnish maritime memorial law, which is very strict compared to Sweden!
22:34 June 10, 2009 by Greg in Canada
That could make things interesting if Sweden and Finland start arguing who owns the wreck.

We had an American War of 1812 wreck found on the Canadian side of Lake Erie. There was a legal dispute as to who owned it - Canada, the US Navy or the dive team that found it after years of looking. In the end it was awarded to the Canadian government and of course they declared it a historical heritage site which means no more independent divers could scuba on it.
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