We use cookies to continually optimise our website. By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our User Conditions. OK

Historic Artefact Recovered off Bornholm’s Coast

Cooperation between Nord Stream, Danish National Museum and Viking Ship Museum Ensures Protection of Cultural Heritage

Sept. 9, 2009 | Zug/Bornholm | Today, the employees of the Viking Ship Museum and the National Museum salvaged a historic rudder near the island of Bornholm. The approximately eight metre long wooden item was found during surveys of the Nord Stream pipeline route at 45 metres depth. It is estimated to be from the 17th or 18th century and is thus protected by the Danish cultural heritage legislation. In order to safeguard the rudder against potentially being damaged during the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline, it had to be lifted and is now sent to preservation.

"No ship wrecks have been located in close proximity to the rudder, so for now, we assume that the rudder dislodged itself from a ship. Of course it is not normal for a ship to lose its rudder, but it must have happened to some of the thousands of ships that have sailed past Bornholm throughout the ages", says Jørgen Dencker from the Viking Ship Museum, who ran the recovery operation on board the "Cable One", the vessel that was already used to salvage St George rudder during the construction of an offshore wind turbine park.

The salvage vessel "Cable One" left Ronne this morning to lift the rudder. It will then be brought to the wood conservation laboratory of the National Museum near Copenhagen. Depending on its state conservation will take approximately six years. Afterwards, the rudder will probably be displayed in a museum.

"The recovery is needed in order to make sure the rudder will not be damaged by pipelaying activities” said Nord Stream Permitting Manager Steve Tye and continues: “After intensive examination of different alternatives, the KUAS (Danish Cultural Heritage Agency), in close cooperation with us, decided on exactly this approach."

The so far unidentified rudder is also expected to come from a rather large ship. As far as could be seen from the survey images, it is rather well preserved, although signs of abrasion are visible. It is likely that historic information of a large vessel losing its rudder is waiting to be discovered in an archive somewhere. Related research on the origin of the rudder will be undertaken by the Viking Ship Museum.

The wood can be dated by use of dendro-chronology, which will make it easy to focus the research to a specific time period. Rudders of similar or larger sizes are known from the large wrecks of Dannebroge (Køge Bugt – rudder approximately eight metres long) and St. George (Thorsminde – rudder approximately 12 metres long).

The construction of the 1,220 km long Nord Stream pipeline on whose route the rudder was found is scheduled to start in early 2010. Nord Stream will eventually be able to supply 55 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. The CO2 emissions of natural gas are the lowest of any fossil fuel, even 50 percent less than coal.

For further information, please contact:

Maud Amelie Hanitzsch, Nord Stream AG: +41 79 824 96 08

Email: press@nord-stream.com

Jørgen Dencker, The Viking Ship Museum: +45 46 300 218

Email: jd@vikingeskibsmuseet.dk

Kristiane Strætkværn, The National Museum: +45 3347 3526

Email: kristiane.straetkvern@natmus.dk

PDF Download