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Environmental risks with shipwrecks

There are hundreds of shipwrecks along the coasts of Sweden that contain environmentally hazardous substances. When these substances ultimately leak into the marine environment it risks damaging plants, animals and humans.

The Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwAM) is responsible for coordinating the investigations, as well as the recovery of environmentally hazardous substances and lost fishing gear (ghost nets) from shipwrecks in Swedish waters.

There are about 17 000 shipwrecks along the coasts of Sweden and the Swedish Maritime Administration classified 3 000 of these as possibly hazardous for the environment, 300 as hazardous for the environment and 30 of them as an acute environmental threat.

Map of environmentally hazardous shipwrecks

Stäng karta

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

Measure taken

Altnes

Halland

1998

Oil, petrol coal


Bremsund

Kalmar

1966

Oil


Finnbirch

Kalmar

2006

Oil


Fu Shan Hai

Danish waters outside of Bornholm

2003

Oli


Harburg

Stockholm

1957

Oil


Heidarstindur

Skåne

1990

Oil


Hoheneichen

Skåne

1959

Oil

Remediated

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


The shipwrecks at Måseskär

Västra Götaland

1946

Chemical munition, ammunition, oil


Necati Pehlivan

Stockholm

1954

Oil


Norrtank

Kalmar

1967

Oil

Shipwreck salvaged 1967

Nynäs I

Stockholm

1963

Oil


Nynäs IX

Västra Götaland

1958

Oil, kerosene

Wreck totally degraded

Onega

Stockholm

1960

Oil


Rone

Gotland

1981

Oil


Sandön

Skåne

1975

Oil, phosphate

Remediated

Sefir

Kalmar

1980

Salvaged

Shipwreck salvaged 1981

Skytteren

Västra Götaland

1942

Oil


Thetis

Västra Götaland

1985

Oil

Oil and ghost net salvaged

Tilia

Kalmar

1972

Oil


Villon

Skåne

1986

Oil


Wästanvåg

Gävleborg

1965

Oil, nitre


Östanhav

Kalmar

1963

Oil


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

Visit The Swedish National Heritage Board’s service Fornsök for more information on shipwrecks in Swedish waters.

Shipwrecks as an environmental problem

Shipwrecks leaking oil or petroleum products pose risk to marine life in Swedish waters. Organisms living in the vicinity of the shipwreck are mainly affected but the oil can also spread to other areas with the currents. Toxic substances such as oil, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH:s) and heavy metals are taken up by microorganisms and transferred up the food chain to fish and crustaceans.

Several shipwrecks contain large volumes of oil that can, when it leaks out, damage large areas. Read more about the effects of oil spillson our Swedish pages.

Working group

SwAM coordinates the working group involved in the risk assessment and recovery of environmentally hazardous substances and ghost nets from shipwrecks. Other participants in the workgroup are:

Distribution of responsibility in the working group

  • Chalmers University of Technology develop the probabilistic risk assessment tool VRAKA
  • The Swedish Maritime Administration performs hydrographic surveys to examine the status and position of the shipwrecks.
  • Swedish National Maritime Museums contribute with historical information regarding the ship and the wreckage.
  • The Swedish Coast Guard and the Swedish Armed Forces (the Navy) dive and film the shipwrecks with remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV) to investigate if they pose a threat to the environment. The Coast Guard does also perform remediation operations in the event of an acute oil spill.
  • SwAM coordinates the investigations and the recovery of hazardous substances and ghost nets. Competent and experienced contractors which SwAM has framework agreements with carry out the work. SwAM also assists in developing new methods for the remediation of shipwrecks.

Reports on environmentally hazardous shipwrecks

If you find a shipwreck or ammunition

If you find ammunition, sea mines or mustard gas, immediately contact the Joint Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (JRCC) or the Emergency Center 112.

If you find a shipwreck, contact the Swedish Maritime Administration.

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