Spectacular wreck found near Bergen

For three years, a group of divers has been working on documenting the wreck of the salvage steamer «Draugen» at 120 meters depth (390 ft.) outside Bergen on the Norwegian west coast. See the documentary here!

Spectacular wreck found near Bergen
The bulb in the searchlight is still gas-filled and intact, 80 years after «Draugen» went down. Photo: West Coast Divers


Spectacular wreck found near Bergen

For three years, a group of divers has been working on documenting the wreck of the salvage steamer «Draugen» at 120 meters depth (390 ft.) outside Bergen on the Norwegian west coast. See the documentary here!

  15. July 2020
Les på norsk!
The wreck of S/S Draugen was found by a group of divers calling themselves West Coast Divers during the summer of 2017. Vegard Sandvik and Hans Petter Holthe had the honour of doing the first dive on the site and witness the spectacular sight.

Since then, the group has been working dilligently, doing multiple dives to document and map the World War Two shipwreck.

– We searched for the wreck with a side-scan sonar in the winter of 2017, but we could not get any good results because of the challenging topography. We had to dive to search for it, and remarkably located «Draugen» on the very first dive, Sandvik says.

D/S Draugen

S/S «Draugen» hit a German mine and sank outside Bergen on the Norwegian west coast in 1940. Screendump: West Coast Divers

A three-year project

West Coast Divers is a loosely put together group of dedicated technical divers who are passionate about documenting wrecks and conveying maritime history. Participants on this project were Vegard Sandvik, Ole Idar Bruvik, Remi Kronstad, Davide Bertolini, and Espen Olsen.

Today, the group published a spectacular video from their dives, as well as an advanced 3D model of the wreck. July 15 was not randomly chosen for publication – this is the date on which «Draugen» was lost in 1940.

Have a look at the «Draugen» wreck:

Video: West Coast Divers/YouTube

Six men perished

The 110-foot long salvage steamer S/S «Draugen» belonged to the Ålesund-based shipowner Fladmarks Sønner A/S, and on July 15 1940 she was underway to a salvage job in Sagvåg on the island of Stord.

When she passed Steinsneset outside Bergen in the afternoon she hit a German mine and sank within minutes after a violent explosion. Six of the 10-man crew perished, among them captain Knut Andreas Berg.

«Draugen» wad built as a fishing vessel by shipbuilders Alexander Hall & Sons Ltd. in Aberdeen in 1901, and was named «Star of the East». In 1912, she was bought by Peder Ludvig Fladmark in Ålesund and converted to a salvage steamer.


Both the propeller, the ship's bell, and other magnificent details are left on the wreck. Photo: West Coast Divers

Dedicated technical divers

– Some of us had to take additional courses to be able to dive the wreck and go through with the project. We have also spent a lot of time learning the software to produce the 3D model, Sandvik says.

Another time-consuming task was shooting the 1.100+ underwater images used for the 3D-model. The astonishing result offers a 360-degree view of the wreck, which can be viewed from every angle – a true example of digital marine archaeology.


West Coast Divers have made a spectacular 3D-model of the wreck, put together from over 1.100 underwater images.

In remarkable shape

The 80-year-old shipwreck is in remarkably good condition, taking the explosion and the amount of time that has passed into consideration. «Draugen» is sitting almost upright on the seabed.

– The wreck lies in 120 meters (390 ft.) of water, with a slight list to starboard and the bow facing in her original direction. The damage from the mine explosion is evident. The bow is at a 45-degree angle compared to the aft of the ship, and the bulkhead on the superstructure has been pushed in, Sandvik says.

You can follow West Coast Divers on their YouTube channel, and of course on Facebook. Give them a like!



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