Secrets of Shipwrecks project is a part of a Underwater Russian Heritage Project. Underwater Russian Heritage Project was supported by СJSC “Baltic Marine Company” (ЗАО «Балтийское морское общество») and lasted for 10 years. For this time the team of divers and scientists has found and identified hundreds of shipwrecks, lying on the bottom of Gulf of Finland in Baltic Sea, the river of Neva and the lake of Ladoga. At the moment they have about thousand of objects in the list. Each of them has its own unique story.
One of the most interesting is frigate Oleg, the flagship of the Emperor Alexander II. It sank in 1869 and lies on
an even keel at a depth of 60 meters. It had happened during a training exercise. Its death was very quick – just 15 minutes, but this is the reason why all the weapons and the interior have been kept intact. The shipwreck is considered as a historical object of a special value and any dives on it are forbidden.
Lucky Dutchman (Везучий Голландец)
When St. Petersburg port had been built, Peter I announced the reward for the very first ship to enter it. It was a Dutch merchant ship, which was later given the nickname “Lucky Dutchman”. Peter I paid a premium to skipper and allowed duty-free trade for this vessel. It was so beneficial that the ship owner has decided to maintain the ship afloat by any means. Lucky Dutchman succeeded to serve for 80 years (which is 10- 20 times longer than normal life for a wooden ship) and sank during the voyage.
Russian Navy transport “America” (“Америка”)
Russian Emperor Nicholas I arrived in Kronstadt and saw the ship under the Stars and Stripes: “What a beautiful ship! I wish I had such a ship in my fleet!” His generals and officials who accompanied him do not know how to interpret the words of his Majesty. After some discussion, they did find a safe solution: to buy the vessel!
The new Navy transport ship named “America” had very low combat abilities but it was so comfortable that any Russian Navy officer dreamt of serving on her board, because it was very comfortable. When Emperor inspected the ship, he ordered to built new Navy ships according these new standards. So usual cargo ship changed the story of Russian Navy shipbuilding.
To be continued…