Vessel Believed to be Russian Tsarist Submarine Discovered in the Baltic
Published: June 27, 2014 (Issue # 1817)
Estonian divers have discovered a watercraft in the Baltic Sea that they believe to be one of Russia's first battle submarines, Estonian media reported.
The Shark, which was first launched in 1911, disappeared in 1915 at the height of World War I. It was carrying a crew of 35 at the time, whose fate has since remained unknown.
A vessel matching the Shark's description has been found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea by divers from the company Technical Diving Estonia, Delfi.ee reported.
The submarine's nose was torn by a blast, probably from a mine, the website said Wednesday, citing company representatives.
The divers were not immediately able to enter the submarine because of its diminutive size, the report said. Sailors had to be shorter than 160 centimeters in order to qualify for a position aboard the Shark.
The submarine is unlikely to survive an attempt to bring it to the surface, but divers will mount a closer examination to confirm it is indeed the Shark.
The Russian Navy has been using submarines since the late 19th century, but initially only used them for coastal defense. The diesel-electric Shark broke the paradigm and was the first Russian submarine to pull off a torpedo attack against an enemy ship.