The GuardianThe Guardian

‘It’s a Baltic problem’: The Swedish coastguards saving shipwrecks from looters

By Miranda Bryant

01 Aug 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. The 17th-century shipwreck Bodekull, located in the Baltic Sea near Dalarö, Sweden, is under threat from looters. The ship, built by English shipbuilder Thomas Day, sank in 1678 while transporting flour to the Swedish naval fleet. It remains largely intact due to the Baltic's brackish water protecting it from shipworms.

Among the rocky shores and wooden summerhouses of Dalarö, an exclusive Swedish summer retreat, there was little to indicate anything other than a typical summertime scene on the Stockholm archipelago.

It was only as the coastguard boat reached a discreet yellow buoy that there was any suggestion of the 17th-century shipwreck lying, preserved, 30 metres beneath it. “STOP,” read a sign. “Marine cultural reserve.”

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content