Diver working on the wreck.

Protected Area Shipwrecks

In Finland, according to the Antiquities Act (295/1963), a protected wreck is accompanied by a protection zone as stipulated by the same Act. These sites include:

  • St. Nikolai (ID 1108) off the coast of Kotka.
  • Gråharuna in Parainen (ID 2228).
  • Borstön wreck (ID 1648).
  • Vrouw Maria (ID 1658).
  • Huis te Warmelo (ID 2381) in the waters of Porvoo.
  • Hästö Busön wreck (ID 1000045984) in the archipelago of Raasepori.

The boundaries of these protection zones have been determined and confirmed in different years through the procedures specified by the Antiquities Act, involving both the owners of the water areas and authorities.

Within these protection zones, all diving activities and anchoring unrelated to the maritime rescue of a vessel in distress, measures enhancing maritime safety by the Finnish Maritime Administration, or diving and research activities authorized and supervised by the Finnish Heritage Agency are prohibited. These protection zones do not impede navigation through the area by boat.

The purpose of the protection zones is to preserve wrecks or other underwater sites, along with the information they contain, as intact entities for archaeological research. The goal is to ensure that the structures of the wreck or the objects within it do not disappear or get damaged without documentation, and that the entirety of findings can be studied in the future as undisturbed as possible. In the long term, the aim is to safeguard the preservation of sites of different ages and types, along with the information they hold, as comprehensive archaeological entities, so that the selected sites reflect various phases in maritime history as diversely as possible.