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June 2011

Report about the work of the Swedish-Russian Working Group on disappeared Swedish ships during the Cold War


    The investigation conducted by a joint Swedish-Russian Working Group about Swedish ships lost during the Cold War leaves many important questions unanswered.

    Review shows that Poland informed Sweden about discovery of the wreck of the ship “Dan” in 1993

    The Swedish Foreign Ministry has not disclosed the information publicly because the official Swedish-Russian Working Group formed in 1993 to investigate the disappearance of Swedish ships during the Cold War never produced a final report. Surprisingly, Swedish officals did not seek independent verification of the find, explore the cause of the sinking or ask Polish authorities about the fate of the crew. The newly discovered information also raises questions about other Swedish vessels that vanished off the coast of Poland from 1946-1955.

    In August 1993 the Polish Foreign Ministry informed an official Swedish-Russian Working Group examining the cases of about seventeen Swedish vessels that had disappeared during the Cold War that the wreck of a ship that matches the description of the “DAN” had been discovered already in 1957 in Polish territorial waters. [Document 1] According to internal UD documents, the “Wreckbook” of the Polish Navyshows that the boat was found 3.5 km north of Jastrzębia Góra and was partially lifted already in 1964. The memo further states that since the debris was discovered at the bottom of the sea, it was assumed that the crew had gone down with the ship and that there were no survivors (UD Arbetspapper, 2001-9-27.) The suspected cause of the sinking was a mine. The “Dan” had originally been believed to have gone missing with a seven person crew somewhere outside of Latvia.