Unknown Steamer Discovered by Divers in Primorye

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Остатки неизвестного парохода. Фото: КПП "Восток"

Another expedition of the “Vostok” underwater exploration club and the underwater exploration club – the Society for the Study of the Amur Region – of the Primorsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society turned out to be rich in finds. This time, the participants of the expedition to Reyneke Island found the remains of the riveted hull of an unknown steamer of the late 19th – early 20th century at the bottom. An inspection of the old quarry was carried out on the shore, which also raised a lot of questions.


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Дайверы изучают находку. Фото: КПП "Восток"

Reyneke Island is a small piece of land with an area of 4.6 km2 in the Peter the Great Gulf in the Sea of Japan. It is located 25 km from the center of Vladivostok, was first surveyed in 1862-1863 by an expedition led by Russian hydrographer Vasily Babkin. Now the residents of the capital of Primorye like to relax here, and about 20 people live here permanently.


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While diving near the island, the divers found parts of a ship built in the late 19th – early 20th century. The age is indicated by the decay of metal structures – almost completely rotted frames and anchor chain. Solid elements – anchor and bollards – are preserved better. An anchor of a floating mine from the Russian-Japanese War was found next to the remains of the ship.


Загадочная каменоломня. Фото: КПП "Восток"

Traces of two types of stone cutting were found in a quarry nearby. Part of the stone slabs with traces of mining goes into the sea in shallow water. The unusual object certainly deserves to be re-examined with measurements and documenting on the shore and under water.


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Работы на дне. Фото: КПП "Восток"

For more than 35 years, the underwater exploration club “Vostok”, which unites people who are passionate about diving and history, has been studying their native land. The club trains divers, whose level of training allows them to work at depths of more than 40 m. The technology of drawing up a photomap of underwater objects has been mastered, cooperation with laboratories and  underwater robotics centers is developing.

Over the years, “Vostok” has managed to map the location of more than 60 sunken objects on the map of the Peter the Great Gulf. Some of them have yet to be found and explored, since the data were taken from various archival sources. Other objects are the vessels already found at the bottom, the history and names of which are being determined by the enthusiasts from the club.


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Камни со следами разработок. Фото: КПП "Восток"