Two wrecks of large warships have been found in the Swedish Archipelago in a strait leading to Stockholm and at least one of the two ships could be the sister ship of the ‘Vasa’, which sank on its maiden voyage in the 17th century. The Swedish archaeologists found the wrecks outside Vaxholm, an island near Stockholm.
The maritime archaeologists at the Swedish Museum of wrecks investigated the historical remains in a depression in the sea bottom. The archaeologists found the discovery astonishing and said that it was like swimming around the Vasa ship. The museum said that the stern of the warship was broken but the bow is better preserved and sticks up roughly 5 metres from the bottom of the sea.
“The measurements taken and the design details recorded both tally well with the Vasa’s,” said the museum in a statement.
According to historical sources, Vasa’s sister ship, Apple, was sunk outside Vaxholm during the second half of the 17th century. The archaeologists took several samples of the wood in the wrecks and will now analyse in order to date and identify the wrecks. “The detective work has only just begun,” said maritime archaeologist Jim Hansson. The Swedish Museum informed that the dives were carried out by the National Maritime and Transport Museums in cooperation with the Swedish Navy.
The Vasa was built at the shipyard Skeppsgården in Stockholm for King Gustav II Adolf. It was fitted with 64 bronze guns, of which 48 were 24-pound guns weighing about 1,200 kilograms each. On August 10, 1628, the warship sailed off on its maiden voyage but a gust of wind toppled the giant ship, sending it down 32 metres below the waters. The exact number of people on board when it sank is not known but it is speculated somewhere between 150 to 250. Around 30 people died in the shipwreck.