Good News from Fri, 12 August, 2011:

French divers find Finnish shipwreck

Uusikaupunki was Port Caledonia's home harbour Uusikaupunki was Port Caledonia's home harbour

French divers have found the wreck of a Finnish sailing ship which sank with all hands in the Bay of Biscay, 87 years ago.

Port Caledonia was sailing from Mejilones in Chile to the French port of La Pallice with 4000 tonnes of saltpetre when she crashed into rocks in a heavy storm on December 2, 1924.  All 25 crew members and captain Alfred Karlsson died.  

Eight of the sailor were Finnish nationals, while others came from Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. 

In France, the local marine research association scoured the archives to research the fate of the ship. Eventually it put together a group of divers who found the wreck. Descendants of Finnish sailors visited the place in June.

- I was especially touched by the fate of the Finnish crew, as I had an opportunity to talk with their descendants”, Diver Pierre-Emmanuel Augé told the Sud-Ouest newspaper, which was the first to report the discovery on its website.

The home harbour of Port Caledonia was the town of Uusikaupunki in the southwest of Finland.        

The four-masted steel barque was built by Russell & Co. in Glasgow in 1892 and was bought by the Uusikaupunki-based shipping company J. A. Zachariassen in 1914.