According to news sources, a three-hundred-year-old Russian ship, which sank in a storm in the Gulf of Finland near the island of Gogland in 1713 has been discovered during the construction of a gas pipeline. Scientists are urging that the ship be raised before any new work commences so that it will not be destroyed.
Andry Lukoshkov, consultant for the project, told the media in St. Petersburg:
“It’s a so-called tjalk, a military transport ship built to Dutch blueprints. It dates from the time when Sweden and Russia fought each other over supremacy in Europe’s North.”
The tjalk is one of the few remaining vessels from the period when Tsar Peter the Great was creating Russia’s navy. Its name is taken from the Old Dutch language and is pronounced challuk. It refers to a flat-bottomed cargo ship, which was very useful in the rivers and coastal waters of old Frislandia, the smallest of the three large isles of the North Sea. The ship is supplied by side sheet anchors because of its flat bottom and most vessels of this type were rigged with a removable mast.
The ship in question is small at only 16 meters (56 feet) long. It lies at a depth of 54 meters (189 feet) deep and is almost unaffected by the passage of time. Remarkably, the cabin belonging to the captain still contains his personal possessions and tableware. Scientists are desperate to find the necessary funding to safely raise the ship to the surface and move it to a naval museum in Kaliningrad.
Action must be taken before the construction of the pipeline starts on the site, which would be certain to damage it.
Time will tell what secrets lie on board this ship from another era long faded into time.
We must respect and preserve the past if we are ever to learn anything from it.