Media reports have surfaced that amateur divers have discovered a legendary shipwreck hundreds of years old. The wreck is believed to be a Swedish royal navy ship from 17th century.
If the remnants found on the floor of the Baltic Sea are indeed the same ship, it is said it went down with a cargo of gold and jewels.
The Resande Man was a royal ship that disappeared in November 1660 during a storm in the Baltic Sea. Purportedly, it sunk with treasure while en route to Poland; the gold and jewels aboard were to be given to Poland from Swedish royalty (Note: phrased as a gift, taxes or bribe depending on which translation you read).
The Local (via Swedish publication Svenska Dagbladet) reports the divers from Grebbestads Archaeological Society discovered the wreck off the shores of Nynäshamn, located south of Stockholm. The wreck, found in mid-May, is said to be in poor shape.
“We have the 17th century sources about the sinking and we’ve studied the currents and the winds and gone through earlier recorded searches for the ship,” explained expedition leader Michael Ågren to the Svenska Dagbladet. “The ship we’ve found is in the right relation to the currents and winds that caused the accident, is from the right era, and is the same size as the Resande.”
Agren and fellow expedition members are hoping to find any potential valuable and historical items kept hidden at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for the last several centuries.
According to the Windsor Star (via AFP), the divers found the wreck, but have not uncovered any treasure.
"Obviously, we were hoping to discover it," one of the divers, photographer Peter Jademyr, said.
It is being reported many of the ship's relics were salvaged the year after the shipwreck, but there is heavy speculation there is more to be found.
The amateur divers are working off "meticulous" documentation written by a crewman who had survived the sinking. The written account by the crewman noted the captain had "focused his attentions on a beautiful woman he had taken captive from Danish privateers." It is said he had ensured her safety, along with Count Karl Kristopher von Schlippenbach, but the lifeboat sank, and the captain subsequently jumped from the ship.
The group is almost certain this wreck is that of the Resande Man, as the location, size of the ship, and most of what they've found to date matches historical accounts.
"There are a lot of indications that this is really it: the location, its appearance, the objects we've found. The only thing that could confirm it 100 per cent is the ship's bell, which had its name inscribed," Jademyr said.
The group of divers are hoping to receive permission to salvage any artifacts they might find in the shipwreck, and are also hoping to test the wood.
Resande Man was carrying 60 passengers and crew at the time of the sinking.