The Koster Wreck

In 1995, navy minesweeper Koster discovered a shipwreck at a depth of some 35 metres in Mysingen Bay in Stockholm’s archipelago. Dendrochronological samples reveal that the ship was built with timber from northern Germany or Denmark sometime between 1752 and 1763.

The Koster wreck is a popular destination for scuba divers despite its location, which is prone to unstable weather. The wreck’s transom and rigging indicate that it is a galeas. The ship is about 22 metres long and exceptionally preserved, with a deck full of objects like coffins, clay pipes, earthenware and rigging details. A small rowing boat that was part of the ship remains amidships. Along with the bowsprit and other spars, the masts lie on the seabed surrounding the wreck.

A collapsed deckhouse can still be made out with a galley caved into its front wall. One of several original coffins can still be discerned. A collection of smashed glass bottles are visible, as well as clay pipes, rigging details, earthenware and a small box containing a horn.

Basic data:

Depth: 34 metres

Built: between 1752–1763

Length: 22.5 metres

Width: 7.4 metres

Sank: ?

Ship type: Cargo ship

Condition of the wreck

The aft deck is partly decayed, exposing the cabin below it where remnants of what is possibly decorative furniture can be discerned. A large horizontal windlass can be found in the prow. There are two hatches on deck, a large one aft of the mainmast and one aft of the windlass. The stem has come off and rests on the seabed along with what is likely the bowsprit. On the seabed outside the starboard bow is an admiralty-pattern anchor.The Concordia from Stralsund?

A review of the archive data on shipwrecks in the area and the time period in question indicates that the wreck might be the galeas Concordia from Stralsund. The ship was laden primarily with malt, and capsized and sank during a rough storm in 1754 outside Älvsnabbenudden. The crew of eight men died in the accident, including skipper Joachim Lemcke, in addition to nine passengers and the pilot.

There is, however, another theory: the Concordia might be the wreck resting at Cape Hundudden at Älvsnabben, the so-called Älvsnabben wreck. To pinpoint the identity of the Koster wreck, the wreck and its cargo must be examined more closely.

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