Shipwreck in the Hanko waters

In September 1873, the cargo ship Osborn & Elisabeth set off from her home port of Wells-next-the-Sea, north of London, to pick up cargo from Kronstadt, Russia. The ship was a large two-masted sailing vessel, measuring 28 meters in length. The captain's name was Wright and the crew consisted of eight men.

The trip to Kronstadt passed the Finnish outer archipelago. When the ship was near Hanko, the unpredictable September weather turned into a storm which put the ship in distress. Although the crew did their best to reef the sails and maintain course, the vessel ran aground on the rocky islet of Trehålsskär, northwest of Hanko. The ship subsequently sank just south of the islet to a depth of 18 meters. The entire crew was saved.

Diver in front of the wrecks bow.

The impressive Figurehead Wreck is a popular dive site

The wreck was found in 1985 and has been a popular dive site ever since. It got its nickname from the ship’s figurehead which depicts a female character. The ship is a fine and impressive dive site, as it sits upright on the bottom on its keel and the hull remains almost intact. The uppermost parts rise to a depth of about 10 metres.

Over the years, the condition of the ship has deteriorated due to abundant recreational diving and careless anchoring. Although the wreck has been photographed and measured, no archaeological excavations have been made. In 2010, the joints attaching the figurehead to the bow failed and it fell to the bottom beside the wreck. It was subsequently lifted to the surface and is currently on display at the Finnish Maritime Museum, in Kotka.

Divers looking at the wrecks capstan.

The dive site of the Figurehead Wreck has a mooring buoy, as well as installed guide signs. This wreck is one of the sites of the Finnish Heritage Agencys' Baltacar project, where the accessibility to wrecks has been improved by the installation of buoys, information signs, and guide ropes. 

Read more about the site from the project Baltacar website.

The Figurehead wreck's 3D model in Sketchfab.

Why and how is this site protected?

This wreck is a fixed ancient relic protected by the Antiquities Act (295/1963). The law protects all wrecks and parts thereof that can be presumed to have sunk at least 100 years ago. While diving to wrecks protected by the Antiquities Act is permitted, it is prohibited to tamper with or dive inside a wreck.

Learn more about wreck protection! (in finnish) 


The site can be visited by a private boat and by diving

While visitors are allowed to dive freely on the wreck, it is not permitted to otherwise tamper with it. The wreck is marked with a surface buoy from which a guide rope leads divers to the wreck itself.

Read more about diving on the The Figurehead Wreck!

Finnish Heritage Agecy's Mapservice

N: 6643526, E: 263121 (ETRS-TM35FIN)