World War Two plane wreckage found off the coast of Estonia

The remains of the World War Two twin-engined plane lie in two halves on the seabed off Saaremaa.
The remains of the World War Two twin-engined plane lie in two halves on the seabed off Saaremaa. Source: Transport Board.

The wreckage of a World War Two-era twin-engine plane have been located on the seabed off the coast of Saaremaa, Estonia's largest island. The exact type of aircraft has yet to be established.

Peeter Väling, head of the Transport Board's (Transpordiamet) hydrography department said that the wreckage was found in the Gulf of Riga, around 16km southeast of the island of Abruka, a small island due South of Kuressaare, Saaremaa's capital.

The Gulf of Riga, with Abruka island circled in red. Source: Google Maps

Väling said: "The plane has two engines, with a fuselage 17 meters in length, and a wingspan also around 17 meters."

"The wreckage lies in two pieces; the tail section is 46 meters north of the fuselage," he went on (see image above), via a press release.

The find arose in the course of work being carried out by the board's survey ship the Jakob Prei last week.

While at present the exact make and type has not been established, the wreckage is definitely of a military plane from World War Two, Väling said (the dimensions and engine number would suggest a light-to-medium bomber or fighter-bomber type aircraft, of which there would be several different possible candidates, from both sides in the conflict – ed.).

So far as the Transport Administration is aware, there are four such wrecks lying on the seabed in the Gulf of Riga, two of which have been located during the course of mine clearance operations.

As reported by ERR News, in early August, the wreck of a British-built packet steamer was discovered in the course of Transport Administration routine seabed survey work, off the North Coast, while the following month the wreck of a World War One-era German vessel was found.

Estonia's coastal waters are generally under 100 meters in depth, often significantly shallower than this.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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