The Norwegian Coastal Administration has located a total of 15 more World War II shipwrecks in Skagerrak after 20 wrecks were already discovered in the area in 2009.
After World War 2 has ended many decommissioned vessels which were loaded with chemical warfare agents and munitions were scuttled in a 600m deep trench off Arendal, a port on Norway’s Southern coast. Two weeks after the Norwegian Coastal Administration and Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI – Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt) started mapping the dump field a total of 15 more shipwrecks were discovered, taking the total to at least 35.
Mr Lågstad stated that some of the wrecks are broken up and destroyed so that parts of the load with chemical weapons are scattered across the seabed. Fortunately, most of the wrecks appear to be undamaged and are located at a depth of 600 m.
Based on sediment samples and experiences from Sweden and Denmark, they pose little environmental and health risks today, as long as it is not taken up to the surface, according to the NCA. It is for that reason that most likely the wrecks and, or cargo will never be raised.