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17th-century warship found off the Swedish coast

Marine archaeologists have discovered the wreck of Äpplet (the Apple), a 17th-century warship, the Swedish Museum of Wrecks (Vrak) reported on Monday.

In December 2021 Vrak’s maritime archaeologists in collaboration with the Swedish navy discovered a huge shipwreck near Vaxholm, an island outside Stockholm. Parts of the ship’s sides had fallen to the bottom of the sea, but the hull was otherwise preserved up to a lower gun deck. The fallen sides had gunports on two levels, evidence of a warship with two gun decks.

Our pulses spiked when we saw how similar the wreck was to Vasa,” said Jim Hansson, a maritime archaeologist at Vrak. “Both the construction and the powerful dimensions seemed very familiar. The hope of finding one of Vasa’s sister ships was sparked within us,” he added.

The archaeologists came back in the spring of 2022. Several samples were taken and analyses were made. It emerged that the oak for the ship’s timber was felled in 1627 in the Mälardalen area, east of Stockholm – in the same place as the timber gathered to construct Vasa a few years earlier.

Marine archaeologists from Vrak – Museum of Wrecks have found the wreck of the ship #Äpplet (the Apple). The ship, launched in 1629, was built by the same shipbuilder that made the ship #Vasa. Experts in the research programme "The Forgotten Fleet" have confirmed the discovery.

— Stockholm University (@Stockholm_Uni) October 24, 2022

“The dimensions, construction details, wood samples and archival material all pointed in the same direction – amazingly, we had found Vasa’s sister ship Äpplet,” Patrik Höglund, another maritime archaeologist at Vrak said.

Launched in 1629, Äpplet was built by the same shipbuilder as the warship Vasa one year earlier. Measurement data, the ship’s technical details, wood samples and archival data confirm the true identity of the ship.

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