Russian divers have offered to help in the probe of the vessel believed to be the Russian mini-submarine 'Som' ('Catfish') which disappeared during WWI
MOSCOW, July 28. (TASS) - Russian search and rescue workers will offer any conceivable assistance to their Scandinavian counterparts in gathering information that might provide clues to the fate of a submarine wreck just discovered off Sweden, the head of the expedition Respects to Great Victory’s Ships, Konstantin Bogdanov, told TASS on Tuesday.
Earlier, Sweden’s divers from the Ocean X-team said they had spotted the wreck of a foreign submarine bearing Cyrillic letters on the hull. Scandinavian experts are still uncertain about the date when the submarine was lost. Some speculate that the sub in question is Russia’s The Som, which sank in 1916.
"According to the photos available it looks pretty much like The Som submarine, which sank in 1916 following a collision with a surface ship, but further inquiries are still to confirm that. At this point there is no information about the depth of the sea in the area where the submarine was found. The depth permitting, it might be possible to obtain clearer images and declare the site as a mass grave," Bogdanov said.
He speculated it might be possible to arrange for a joint ceremony to dispatch ships to the sight and hold a funeral service there.
"That’s a question of good will and of cooperation by the two countries. If the issue on the agenda is to commemorate people who perished nearly one hundred years ago, there is no politics involved. We are prepared for a joint expedition and will soon try to contact the Swedish side," Bogdanov said.
He recalled that Russian divers had a certain record of such joint expeditions in cooperation with partners in Bulgaria, Estonia, and Finland. In cooperation with Bulgaria Russian specialists identified the Russian destroyer The Lieutenant Pushchin, which sank during World War I. A while later a memorial service was conducted on the site and divers attached a memorial plaque with the names of all crew to the ship’s hull.
The Som-class mini-submarines (replicas of the US submarine Fulton) was a series of Russian submarines build in 1904-1906. The first one, which lent its name to the whole series, was built in the United States in 1901 and handed over to Russia. According to witnesses in May 1916 The Som sank after collision with a Swedish ship.