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Remains of two sunken 19th century ships found in Krasnoyarsk Territory
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov

Remains of two sunken 19th century ships found in Krasnoyarsk Territory

The Russian Geographical Society's expeditionary center in the Siberian Federal District found the remains of two sunken ships of the 19th century in the northern part of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Interfax reported. According to participants in the expedition, the English steamship Thames was found near Turukhansk, and the Russian clipper boat Severnoye Siyaniye (Northern Lights) was discovered in Taimyr.

"The remains of the first vessel — the British steamship Thames — we found in the mouth of the Salnaya Kurya River near the village of Goroshikha in the Turukhansky District. It is underwater at depths of 2 to 10 meters. It is difficult to say whether the steamship is well-preserved. It is covered with silt and sand, so only part of the aft superstructure can be seen," Alexander Goncharov, an expedition participant and teacher at the Siberian State Aerospace University, said.

British mariner Joseph Wiggins sailed on the steamship to the Yenisei River through the Kara Sea in 1876.  "Wiggins made a few attempts to sail through the Kara Sea, and in 1876 he finally succeeded. His steam yacht Thames was the first commercial steam vessel to sail to the Yenisei," Goncharov said.

In 1877, the Thames got stranded near Igarka and was damaged during spring flooding. The team went back to England by land.

In 1876, the ship Severnoye Siyaniye (Northern Lights) dropped anchor for winter in the Yenisei River. The team came down with scurvy, and only the captain Davyd Shvanenberg and the navigator Numelin managed to survive. They left the ship after it was damaged by the spring ice drift.

"We found what we believe to be the remains of the ship Severnoye Siyaniye on Bolshoi Brekhovsky Island in the Small Yenisei creek. The main part of the ship is on the shore, with the preserved hull, part of the deck, frames, metal fittings and the bottom. The find is very valuable to us, as this is one of the few remaining samples of Siberian shipbuilding of that era," Goncharov said.

He added that it is necessary to carry out archeological excavations and analysis of the wrecks to understand whether it is possible to raise and restore the vessels.