A nice story: Divers once found a very special World War I shipload in a wreck close to Finnland.. on the bottom of the sea. The divers were surprised when they found a great treasure: Alcohol. The dive site was near Rauma, Finland – a town of ca. 37,000 inhabitants on the west coast of Finland, 92 kilometres north of Turku, and 50 kilometres south of Pori.
(Cognac Expert also reported about a 17th century vessel, found in the South Chinese Sea, read the article. )
A cache of very old champagne, some wine and some bottles cognac have been lying on the ground of the sea since 1916. A German submarine torpedoed the vessel. That Swedish boat had a Russian order on board.
The freight documents say, that the Joenkoeping schooner had about 5,000 bottles of champagne on board! And 67 barrels of cognac, 17 barrels of wine. The goods were forRussian Tsar Nicholas II.
Bad weather and unclear ownership questions made things even more complcated. The Finnish businessman Peter Fryckman claimed the cargo because the company of his great-grandfather was involved in the order.
Treasure hunter Fryckman dived for hundreds of bottles from the wreck. This was stopped when a Finnish court decided to stop salvage and allowed Swedish divers to continue.. Apparently Swedish divers had discovered the wreck one year earlier.
The divers had to wait for several months for good weather conditions. Finally the right moment was there and they attached cables under the wreck .. but when it came to the surface, the vessel broke apart. What a catastrophe. The hole the torpedo created was simply too big – that was underestimated.
Still, some bottles were saved.
Markku Kankaristo said it was a real disappointment.
The Champagne was still drinkable, almost a hundred years old – and they also found Cognac bottles. People got excited. But it turned out to be a disappointment because (as the freight documents said) the Cognac was no Cognac, just grape mash. Undistilled.
But the disappointment wasn’t only about the non-Cognac but also because the ship was in rather bad shape.It just couldn’t be restored.
Pic of wreck: inet.hr