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In the autumn of 1747, the merchant vessel St. Mikael was sailing from Amsterdam to St Petersburg when she sank in the waters of Nauvo in the south-western archipelago of Finland. The wreck was found in the 1950’s when the nets of a local fisherman fastened in the masts of the wreck. The wreck of St. Mikael is one of the very few old wreck sites in Finland that are identified by the help of archive information. Archive investigations concerning St. Mikael were conducted by Dr Christian Ahlström.
The wreck lies at the depth of app. 40 meters and its 24-meter long hull is intact. The lower parts of all the three masts are standing up. The wreck was documented many times in 1960’s - 1980’s and several objects were raised. Among the raised objects there were items from the cargo, personal belongings of the crew, and parts of the ship’s structure. Also remains of human bodies were found in the wreck.
The National Board of Antiquities asked for a protected area around the wreck of St. Mikael and in the spring of 1999 the Southwest Finland Regional Environment Centre confirmed the area. The aim is to safeguard the wreck and the information it has for future generations and for forthcoming investigations. A well-preserved hull is valuable when studying the history of shipbuilding and the wreck holds artefacts that are appealing in the sense of cultural history. The investigations of the wreck site have yet not been completed.
On the protected area anchorage and diving are strictly prohibited unless they are involved in rescuing a ship or a person in distress, fairway or research work conducted by authorities, or diving guided by the National Board of Antiquities. The protected area can be crossed by a boat.
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Last updated 29.10.2015
© National Board of Antiquities