Algae-covered dugout in brown water.

Instructions for the Finder of Underwater Cultural Heritage

When you discover an old wreck, part of a wreck, a pier structure, or any other archaeological object in water, on the shore, or in wetlands, make observations about its appearance, size, and material. Record the information as soon as possible or immediately after the dive.

According to the Antiquities Act, the discovery of a wreck or a part of a wreck believed to have sunk over a hundred years ago must be reported promptly to the Finnish Heritage Agency.

Do not dig, move, dismantle structural components, or raise artifacts at the site. Objects and structural parts that have been in the water for a long time can be damaged or even destroyed if they dry out uncontrollably without proper conservation.

Determine the exact location of the object and provide location data in the ETRS-TM35FIN or WGS84 coordinate system. Record the depth of the location and make observations about the quality of the seabed and the surrounding environment. If possible, take photographs or create drawings.

Report information about the discovered object primarily to the notification service Ilppari ( If necessary, also report to the responsible regional museum (Regional Museums - the Finnish Heritage Agency) or the registry of the Finnish Heritage Agency (

For wrecks of warships sunk less than a hundred years ago, the finder should report the discovery to The Military Museum of Finland. Warship wrecks in Finnish territorial waters are under the jurisdiction of The Finnish Defence Forces regardless of nationality. The Military Museum of Finland grants diving permits for these wrecks. The contact information for the Military Museum of Finland is:, phone 0299 53 0241 or 0299 53 0251.

Reporting Underwater Finds