The s/s Astrid expedition
During one of Ocean X Team’s expeditions in the summer of 2012 the wreck of s/s Astrid was found in international waters. Astrid was built in 1872 in England as the yacht Saga, she changed owner a few times before ending up in Sweden to serve as a freighter. She was 34 meters long and 6.5 meters wide and was propelled by a 150 HP steam engine. It was during a trip between Stockholm and Rauma in Finland on 11 September 1916 thatAstrid finally met her final fate. She was discovered by the German submarine U 22 (which incidentally was the same sub that sunk the ship Jönköping which carried the famous champagne load, salvaged in 1997/98). Astrid was stopped by U 22 and the German captain decided after been reading the freight documents that Astrid brought contraband in her cargo and therefore they had to sink her. After Astrid’s crew, which consisted of 10 men and two women, had entered the two life rafts the submarine opened fire with its deck gun. 16 shells were fired in total and after the first shell the boiler blow into the air with the result that the superstructure was razed completely. Fire broke out and at 13:40 in the afternoon she sunk and would not been seen again for 96 years. Astrid’s life rafts with her crew were towed towards the Finnish coast by U 22. They were however left some 10 nautical miles off the Finnish coast and had to row the final distance before reaching land.
Dives has been performed with both divers and robots to a depth between 65-58 meters. Astrid is very badly damaged due to the fire and the damages caused by the gun fire. Among other things, most of the bottles of port wine that was in her hold were shattered and the divers had to dig through broken glass to find the rare whole bottles. Despite this, the Ocean X Team’s expedition could shoot some unique pictures and video sequences of a long-forgotten ship.