The last shipment of rare liquors for Tzar Nicholas II’s Russia, is now recovered!
A search and salvage project that started 20 years ago is now completed. It was on the 22nd October the salvage vessel ”Deepsea Worker”, arrived in Sweden with a shipload of more than 100-year old cognac and liqueur, brought up from the Swedish steamer ”s/s Kyros”!
Ocean X Team and iXplorer cooperated with the special equipped salvage vessel ”Deepsea Worker” to be able to salvage the bottles of ”De Haartman & Co”-cognac and ”Benedictine”-liqueur (now days owned by Bacardi) from 77 meters depth between Sweden and Finland at international waters. It was 50 cases of cognac and 15 cases of liqueur that were supposed to be delivered from France to St Petersburg (former Petrograd), Russia, through neutral Sweden already in December 1916. Due to a heavy ice situation in the Sea of Bothnia (the sea between Sweden and Finland) the transport were delayed till May 1917. ”s/s Kyros” met its dramatic fate though when being stopped and controlled by the German submarine ”UC58”. The captain of the submarine decided to sink ”s/s Kyros” because that parts of the cargo were considered as contraband by the Germans. ”S/s Kyros” crew were transferred to a nearby ship and later they all returned safe to Sweden.
The wreck of ”s/s Kyros” has during the years been heavily damaged by fishing trawls and trawl boards. Several times since the first discovery back in 1999 has the wreck been cleared from nets to make it possible for divers and unmanned underwater vehicles (ROV’s) to access the wreck.
The importance of this event cannot be overemphasized – it’s not only a find of rare cognac and liqueur but also a part of history of the former imperial Russia.
”Bacardi, being the owner of the Bénédictine brand, a product that was created more than 500 years ago by french monks, are excited to hear about the find and are eager to learn if the product has been preserved for the duration of the stay under water, says Petra Caspolin, Marketing Manager at Bacardi in Nordics”
More information will come!