The Estonian Transport Administration found six new shipwrecks during hydrographic surveys of the seabed in 2020.
Peeter Valing, head of the hydrography department of the maritime and waterways division, said that one wreck was found in the Gulf of Finland, one in Vainameri Sea, one near the port of Kuivastu, one south of Viirelaid and two pieces south of Kihnu in the Gulf of Riga.
Despite the coronavirus and the emergency situation declared in the spring, the Transport Administration managed to measure 1,216 square kilometers of sea area and 47 square kilometers on Lake Peipsi last year. At sea, the main areas of work this time were the Gulf of Finland near Tallinn and the Gulf of Riga near Pärnu and Kihnu.
Valing said that the wreck found by the port of Kuivastu is likely to be Soviet destroyer Serdityi, which was sunk by the Germans in 1941. "The other wrecks found are unknown and most of them are also quite dilapidated, which suggests that they may be older ships," Valing said.
Additionally, an unknown underwater structure was found near Pärnu. After an investigation, it became clear that this is a system established in 1970 for supplying seawater to the Parnu mud baths. The object is located about 600 meters from the mud baths, at a depth of three meters in the sea. It is a cone-shaped concrete structure two meters high and almost eight meters in diameter, connected with the mud baths by a concrete canal.
In the course of later data processing, it also turned out that one of the objects found in the Gulf of Riga in 2019 is a plane. The divers determined that it was a Soviet Il-2 aircraft that was shot down during World War II.
On average, more than 10 new wrecks are found every year, and a total of 594 wrecks lying on the Estonian seabed have been mapped in the Transport Administration's database. Of these, 490 have been found during surveys, the rest have been identified either from aerial photographs or from earlier navigational charts.
Editor: Helen Wright