The F53.4 LORELEY (W-23) wreck constitutes the remains of a merchant ship of a barque type, built in Rostock in 1863. The ship sailed under the German flag, and Rostock was her home port. Loreley was built from oak, an underwater section of the hull was additionally zinc-plated which served as protection of the wooden structure against shipworms on basins with high levels of salinity. The ship was operated by 10 – 11 members of crew, her displacement stood at over 400 tons. The barque transported goods on a number of basins, in particular between the White Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, calling in at Russian, British and French ports. On 15 November 1887, while performing a manoeuvre of entering Gdańsk port, the ship ran aground.
In 1978, the ship's bell, with the names Loreley and Rostock and the date 1866 inscribed on it, was handed over to the PMM. It was the first instance when a bell was found on a wreck of a wooden sailing ship discovered in the Gulf of Gdańsk. This fact contributed to a fast identification process. The wreck's structure is severely damaged and scattered flat on a large area of a sandy seabed, which poses significant interpretation challenges. Individual elements, such as a keelson and fragments of the ship's sides can be identified, however they were shifted away from each other, and are now located far from their original positions.
The wreck was discovered in 1977 by Tadeusz Wardiukiewicz.
The wreck is located at a depth of 4 metres, ca 300 metres from the beach in Nowy Port, to the east of the W-21 wreck.
The research team of the PMM, supported by a section of divers of the Citizen’s Militia, conducted research works on the wreck in 1978. In the course of works, a measurement frame was installed on the site, a drawing of the site was made along with trial trenches which were excavated using an airlift. Further research activities were undertaken in 2001. Documentation and cataloguing works were conducted on the site in 2006 and 2015.
Construction conducted in 1863, Sinking occurred in 1887.
A vessel used by shipowners from Rostock.
Few artefacts were recovered from the wreck: seven dead eyes, a block, a red earthenware fragment and pieces of coal which presumably was transported by the vessel.
Koperkiewicz A., Zagłada „Loreley”, Morze, nr 7, 1979, s. 36, 37, 39.
Smolarek P., Badania podwodne w Bałtyku w latach 1979- 1986,„Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej”, t. 35, nr 3, 1987, s. 465 - 495.
Bednarz T., „De Jonge Seerp”. Badania historyczno - archeologiczne niderlandzkiego statku z końca XVIII wieku, Gdańsk 2015, s. 29 - 31.
The "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum" website (www.wsw.nmm.pl) has been created under the "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum. Recording and Inventory of Underwater Archaeological Heritage" scientific research project, co-financed with the funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.