17th-century warship wrecks discovered off Swedish island


The wrecks of two large 17th-century warships have been discovered off a Swedish island, one of which may be linked to a famous doomed ship from that era.

Experts believe that one of the warships found off the island of Vaxholm in Stockholm’s archipelago may be the Applet. The warship was the sister ship of the Vasa, a famed 17th-century Swedish warship that sank on its maiden voyage.

In a statement, Sweden’s Vrak Museum of Wrecks explained the Applet was one of several ships deliberately sunk off Vaxholm in the second half of the 17th century to protect Stockholm from naval attacks. Other historic vessels sunk with the Applet include the Kronan and Scepter. Like the Vasa, the ships were part of King Gustavus Adolphus’ ambitious upgrade of the Swedish Navy.

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Divers retrieved samples of wood from the wrecks, which will be used to date and identify them.

One of the wrecks discovered off the island of Vaxholm.

One of the wrecks discovered off the island of Vaxholm.
(Photo: Jim Hansson, SMTM)

Earlier this month, Marine Archaeologist Jim Hansson said it was “incredibly cool” to swim inside a ship resembling the Vasa, which was largely intact when raised in 1961 and now has its own museum in Stockholm.

The Vasa sank in 1628, minutes after leaving port as the pride of the Swedish navy. It keeled over, lacking the ballast to counterweight its heavy guns.

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Other Swedish shipwrecks have been garnering attention. In 2014, researchers started exploring the wreckage of the Mars, a Swedish warship that sank in the Baltic during a naval battle in 1564.

The Vasa is displayed at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, on March 10, 2011 - file photo.

The Vasa is displayed at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, on March 10, 2011 – file photo.
(JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)

Scientists in the U.K. recently spotted a mysterious shipwreck in the North Sea that may be a Swedish merchant ship sunk by a U-boat during World War II.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers





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