Facebook Tweet this Email Print

Environmental hazards from sunken shipwrecks

There are hundreds of shipwrecks along the coasts of Sweden, which are a threat to the environment. The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) is responsible for coordinating the investigations and remediation of shipwrecks in Swedish waters.

There are about 17,000 shipwrecks along the coasts of Sweden. The Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) has rated 3,000 of these as possibly hazardous for the environment, 300 as hazardous for the environment and about 30 of them as constituting an acute environmental threat.

They have a high possibility of discharging environmentally hazardous substances into the marine environment. Substances that can inflict negative environmental effect on marine organisms and humans.

The first shipwreck to be remediated was the fishing vessel Thetis in Skagerrak.

SwAM coordinates the working group involved in the risk assessment and remediation of environmentally hazardous shipwrecks. The box to the right contains links to other participants in the workgroup.

Map of shipwrecks along the coast of Sweden

The list of environmentally hazardous shipwrecks is taken from the Swedish Maritime Administration's report Miljörisker med fartygsvrak (Environmental hazards with shipwrecks) from 2011. Click on the dots to read more about the shipwrecks.

List of environmentally hazardous shipwrecks

The table lists environmentally hazardous shipwrecks, their position, when they wrecked and the environmentally hazardous substances they carried.

List of environmentally hazardous shipwrecks

The table lists environmentally hazardous shipwrecks, their position, when they wrecked and the environmentally hazardous substances they carried.

Ship

County

Wrecked

Environmentally hazardous substances

Altnes

Halland

1998

Oil, petrol coal

Bremsund

Kalmar

1966

Oil

Finnbirch

Kalmar

2006

Oil

Fu Shan Hai

Danish waters outside of Bornholm

2003

Remediated

Harburg

Stockholm

1957

Oil

Heidarstindur

Skåne

1990

Oil

Immen

Stockholm

1977

Oil

Ingemar

Kalmar

1984

Oil

Irevik

Skåne

1967

Oil

Jan Heweliusz

German waters

1993

Oil

Koronowo

Danish waters

1979

Oil

Langeland

Västra götaland

2009

Oil

Lindesnäs

Sörmland

1957

Oil, kerosene

Malmi

Gotland

1979

Oil

Marina

Östergötland

2006

Oil

Martina

Skåne

2000

Oil, hydrochloric acid

Minde

Skåne

1986

Oil

Mundogas

Uppsala

1966

Oil, ammonia

Måseskärs-vraken

Västra Götaland

1946

Suspected chemical munition, ammunition, oil

Necati Pehlivan

Stockholm

1954

Oil

Norrtank

Kalmar

1967

Oil

Nynäs I

Stockholm

1963

Oil

Nynäs IX

Västra Götaland

1958

Oil, kerosene

Onega

Stockholm

1960

Oil

Rone

Gotland

1981

Oil

Sandön

Skåne

1975

Oil, phosphate

Sefir

Kalmar

1980

Salvaged

Skytteren

Västra Götaland

1942

Oil

Thetis

Västra Götaland

1985

Oil

Tilia

Kalmar

1972

Oil

Villon

Skåne

1986

Oil

Wästanvåg

Gävleborg

1965

Oil, nitric

Östanhav

Kalmar

1963

Oil

 

The list is taken from the Swedish Maritime Administration's report Miljörisker med fartygsvrak (Environmental hazards with shipwrecks) from 2011.

Shipwrecks as an environmental problem

Shipwrecks that discharge hazardous substances pose a great danger to marine life in Swedish waters. Organisms living in the vicinity of the shipwreck are mainly affected. Toxic substances, such as oil, heavy metals and arsenic settle on the sea floor, are absorbed by microorganisms or other benthic organisms, which can then be bioaccumulated into fish and crustaceans.

Several of the shipwrecks contain large volumes of oil, which can, if discharged inflict negative environmental effects in large areas. Read more about the effects of oil spills at our Swedish website.

Roles and responsibilities

  • The Swedish Maritime Administration performs hydrographic surveys to investigate the status and position of the shipwrecks.
  • The Swedish Coast Guard performs diving and ROV missions on shipwrecks, while filming and taking photographs. This is carried out to control for potential leakage and to give updated report regarding the wreck and its environmental impact. The Coast Guard is also responsible for remediation if there is a large ongoing oil spill from a wreck.
  • SwAM coordinates the work on remediation and investigation of the environmentally hazardous wrecks.

Reports on environmentally hazardous shipwrecks

If you find a shipwreck or ammunition

If you find an object you suspect may be ammunition, a sea mine or mustard gas, contact the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (JRCC) or Emergency Center 112 at once.

If you believe you have found a newly discovered shipwreck, please contact the Swedish Maritime Administration.

Facebook Tweet this Email Print

Published: 2018-10-18

Contact Page Editor Webbredaktionen