• Sweden's news in English

Sub hunt: 'There is something out there'

Maddy Savage · 21 Oct 2014, 14:15

Published: 21 Oct 2014 14:15 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Vaxholm has a long military history, immediately made obvious by the huge fortress that towers over the town, in contrast to the pastel coloured wooden buildings dotted around the harbour.

The town remained a military base until 2006, with artillery batteries and bunkers in place to protect locals against any invading forces.

Now Swedish military vessels are back patrolling the seas around Stockholm's archipelago. Many older residents say they are reminded of the Cold War.

Watch Vaxholm resident Bosse Linden speaking to The Local

“Things like this have happened before but I am not so scared,” says Bosse Linden, 54, a water taxi driver who also served in the Swedish navy for 25 years.

"I think there is something out there, but the archipelago is really big”.
He believes that another country could be “playing a game of hide and seek” or simply making use of the broad stretch of “special water” which he describes as a dream location for people who want to learn how to drive boats or navigate submarines.
“If you learn how to navigate a submarine here then you will be the best,” he tells The Local.
“I don’t think it is a war mission. I don’t think someone is going to take over. But some people are scared” he adds.

Vaxholm is often described as the capital of Stockholm's archipelago. Photo: Maddy Savage

About an hour by bus or boat from Stockholm city centre, Vaxholm is about 90 kilometres north of the islands in the southern archipelago where Sweden's military was understood to be focusing its search on Tuesday.

But a military spokesperson confirmed to The Local that Sweden's armed forces were monitoring the entire archipelago area which includes Vaxholm "from north to south".
Agnes Jonsson, 25, a trainee teacher who works in the town’s main supermarket says she isn’t concerned about a threat from Russia or elsewhere.
“I don’t know if it is something [going on] or if it is just for publicity or whatever. I don’t know if it is going to affect us, but the people I have talked to are not too worried”.
Waiting for a bus with her six-week-old baby Charlie, she says that even after five days in the headlines, the mystery submarine remains a big talking point for locals in the town.
“We’ll see if they find anything, then I think people are going to get worried,” she adds.

Agnes Jonsson says she is not concerned about a foreign threat in Sweden. Photo: Maddy Savage

On what is a grey drizzly afternoon, Swedish television crews and local newspaper reporters are also visible in Vaxholm as they quiz locals about their fears and dig for tip-offs about military search sites in the region.
“No we don’t have any clues, sorry,” jokes one SVT reporter as she scrambles off a water taxi and heads into the town centre.
Story continues below…
The drama is downplayed by Fredrik Jonsson, 24, who runs a tobacco stall in the town:
“I don’t know if it is the Russians or why they are even in Sweden. It seems that everyone is getting worked up about either Russia or Ebola at the moment. I think it is all a bit overplayed,” he tells The Local.
Most residents have little to say about the Swedish military’s decision to withdraw from the town in 2006, but back on his water taxi, Bosse Linden has some strong views about the state of his country’s armed forces.
“Twenty years ago we had a big navy, we had a big coastal artillery,” he says.
“Instead of taking care of our own borders…we help others, but we have forgotten to help ourselves."

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Maddy Savage (maddy.savage@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available