The ship from the 17th century looked like it had just sank due to the Baltic Sea environment that made the wood chisel impossible to survive.
The wooden ship from the 17th century has not been rotted yet. Photo: Pen News.
The ship has 3 masts with a bow designed to maximize cargo capacity and limit the number of crew members. The vessel is built with a lever drive system that allows a crew of fewer people to pull and adjust cargo volume, freeing space and cutting costs. This was an important cargo ship design that contributed to the prosperity of the Dutch empire.
However, researchers still do not know what caused the ship to sink because it was found in a near perfect condition. Jouni Polkko, a member of the Badewanne diving team, said there was no clue to help explain the end of the ship. “The bow is intact. It is in the middle of the sea so it doesn’t get stranded. Maybe the ship capsized during a storm, or the pump malfunctioned and the vessel was flooded due to a leak. It’s also possible the transmission system. The train was stuck, causing the ship to lose its balance. But we don’t know the real reason, “Polkko said.
The divers could only observe minor damage on the ship caused by trawl (dropped underground). They even saw that the cargo compartment was still full, though it was impossible to know exactly what the vessel was carrying due to the accumulation of mud for 400 years. Juha Flinkman, a member of the diving team, commented in the 17th century, this was a very effective ship. It is the type of ship used by every Dutch explorer.
A group of divers discovered the wreck at the mouth of the Gulf of Finland. The environment in this place helps to protect the ship’s structure. In only a few rare places in the world, including the Baltic Sea, wooden shipwrecks can survive for centuries without being destroyed. Due to the low salinity, darkness and low temperature year round, decay is very slow in the Baltic Sea. “Perhaps most important is that wood chisels cannot survive in such an environment. Even in temperate waters, every wreck disappears over time unless buried under sediment,” Polkko said. According to Polkko, the Baltic Sea is a suitable environment for storing wrecks.