Nord Stream discovers 12 shipwrecks during seabed surveys in Baltic Sea

Source: Nord Stream Consortium

Twelve shipwrecks have been discovered in a corridor next to the Nord Stream pipeline route in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Several of them were hitherto unknown. The findings are a result of the extensive seabed surveys carried out by Nord Stream as part of the preparatory works ahead of the construction of Nord Stream’s gas pipelines. The underwater investigations were conducted by the Swedish marine survey company Marin Mätteknik, MMT. 

However, it was previously established that there were no shipwrecks in the direct vicinity of the Nord Stream pipelines in the Swedish EEZ. The new findings are located in the so called anchoring corridor which will be used for anchor positioning by the pipelay barge during the construction of the pipelines. Hence construction work will be adapted so that the shipwrecks will be unaffected. This has also been agreed between Nord Stream and the Swedish authorities. 

During the entire preparation phase Nord Stream has been working in close contact with the relevant Swedish authorities. The documentation concerning the shipwrecks has been made available to the National Maritime Museums, which are now preparing a final report based on the survey documentation. 

Analyses so far indicate that at least nine of the twelve findings are of great cultural historical value and thus also well preserved according to the Swedish National Heritage Board. The Board has also been a continuous contact point for Nord Stream, and the authority will now proceed to register the shipwrecks as permanent ancient monuments. Most of them are commercial ships, originating from the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the most ancient wreck could be from the Middle Ages. 

The discovery of the shipwrecks is another example of how Nord Stream’s extensive investigations of the Baltic Sea are useful for researchers as well as the interested public. Last month Nord Stream announced that it will make all its environmental data available for research in a Data Information Fund. As mentioned above, the shipwreck survey data has been made available to the responsible Swedish authorities.

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