The missing wreck of the Resande has near mythical-status in Swedish maritime history, as the ship was said to have been carrying a wealth of royal treasure to Poland when it sank in tempestuous weather.
The divers, who made the discovery off the shores of Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm, believe the evidence points towards their find being the same ship, wrote the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (SvD).
“We have the 17th century sources about the sinking and we’ve studied the currents and the winds and gone through earlier recorded searches for the ship,” explained expedition leader Michael Ågren to the paper.
“The ship we’ve found is in the right relation to the currents and winds that caused the accident, is from the right era, and is the same size as the Resande.”
Ågren has also speculated on what may remain inside the ship, even though some of the relics were salvaged in 1661, wrote SvD.
“We chose to search for this ship because it has such an interesting and well documented history. And not everything was salvaged. There may be gold, as well as jewels and seal of the crown,” he told the paper.
The divers had access to such precise information of the ship’s sinking thanks to a crewman who survived the ordeal and wrote meticulous notes about the incident.
The ship, which carried over 60 passengers and crew, sank on the 18th November in 1660.
Onboard was the Count Karl Kristopher von Schlippenbach, who was sailing to Poland to enter negotiations with Prince Johan Kasimir about a potential allegiance against Russia.
The treasures were supposed to be gifts for the Prince from Sweden.
However, when rough winds caused trouble onboard, the captain of the ship allegedly ignored the problems and focused his attentions on a beautiful woman he had taken captive from Danish privateers, according to the survivor’s reports.
As the Resande started to crash against the rocks, legend has it that the captain watched from the decks as a life boat carried his beloved captive and the Count away, wrote SvD.
However, when tragedy struck and the life boat sank too, the captain pulled his hat over his eyes and jumped into the water.
The divers are now seeking permission to salvage artifacts from the wreck, which measures 25 by seven metres. They also have requested to take wood samples to determine the age of the ship.
If the ship is indeed the Resande, it will be the last of the missing wrecks featured on the infamous shipwreck map of Anders Franzén, the Swedish maritime legend and discoverer of the Vasa.