Joint wreck expedition to the Baltic Sea

In the spring of 2019 Sea War Museum (SWM) together with JD-Contractor and US-based Global Expeditions Group (GXG) performed its first large joined wreck survey expedition to the Baltic Sea. Over a period of little more than two weeks, M/S Cable One covered more than 600 nautical miles in the Baltic Sea, documenting, 33 wrecks.

For the expedition, JD-Contractor’s M/S Cable One sailed with both Multibeam, Magnetometers, Side Scan Sonar, and Sub-bottom profiler as well as ROV's and TROV's. The different technologies made it possible to gather a great deal of data about the various wrecks in a relatively short amount of time. This data will be used to study and potentially identify the wrecks, and will also begin to provide a basis for comparative studies about the preservation of wrecks in the Baltic Sea as compared to those in the North Sea.

Sea War Museum and JD-Contractors carried out the expedition in partnership with US-based Global Expeditions Group (GXG). For over 40 years, GXG has delivered outstanding experience-based academic, adventure, and service programs. In collaboration with marine archeologists, maritime surveyors, and non-profit organizations, GXG is partnering in the project to specifically collect baseline survey data of ancient shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea, which GXG began to document in 2013. GXG's goal is to utilize today's advanced underwater survey and remote sensing tools to collect information that augments GXG's educational offerings for high school, university, and adult learners while promoting in situ preservation and protection of wrecks sites that are of historical significance. GXG's goals link ideally with those of Sea War Museum and JD-Contractors who's joint ambition is to work towards a new model in marine archaeological collaboration, based on partnerships between commercial companies, museums, the academic community, and non-profit organizations.

The results of the recent expedition will be studied by experts on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as by students of marine archeology. By joining forces on a Baltic Expedition, Sea War Museum, JD-Contractor and GXG hope to contribute to not only the preservation of underwater cultural heritage but also to develop the field of marine archaeology thru the use of in situ remote sensor data collection.

The three wrecks pictured are refugee vessels, all sunk in WWII: "SS General von Steuben", "MV Goya" and "MV Wilhelm Gustloff".