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Park Victory Tavla VII

S/S Park Victory

16.5.1945 – 24.12.1947 VII

Salvage

After the ship loss many quarters showed interest in the wreck. In the first place it was the owner of S/S Park Victory, that is the State of America, the operating shipping company Luckenbach, and of course the insurance company Lloyd’s who had insured the ship. In practice it was the Finnish salvage company Neptun that was commissioned. The task was to estimate the damages of the ship, a possible salvage, and saving of the cargo. In April 1948 the company’s salvage boat ”Protector” was at the wreck. The divers Iivari Suni and Erik Öhman dived to the wreck. On the 20 April 1948 they reported the results of their dives. Salvage of the ship was out of question. It was broken. But it would be possible to salvage the cargo.

In the summer of 1948 the salvage boat ”Salvator” of the salvage company Neptun anchored by the wreck. Salvage of the pit coal cargo was started. The diving company Suckman was co-operating partner, and pit coal was loaded on to their vessel ”Vinha” with the help of an excavator. The work continued throughout the summer. The pit coal was transported to Turku both on ”Vinha” and on ”Salvator”, totally about 2500 tons. The intention was to sell the pit coal, but business did not run. Finally it was decided at the Neptun’s shareholders’ meeting that the pit coal would be used for their own ships.

After the salvage of the cargo, the wreck of S/S Park Victory was left in piece for more than ten years. Storms and ices handled the wreck quite ungently, and it even sank a bit deeper. In the summer of 1961 a group of divers from Poland visited the wreck. The group was sent for by the initiative of Antti Aarnio Jr. Besides S/S Victory the divers also visited the wrecks of Hindenburg, Livid and Rhein. They may have been looking for scrap-iron.

In the summer of 1966 two professional divers became interested in the wreck of S/S Park Victory. They intended to salvage the propeller of the wreck. For the salvage they got two pontoons made. By the help of these they intended to carry out the salvage, as soon as the propeller was detached. Detaching the propeller was easy, it was blast loose from its shaft. At the same time the divers salvaged among others the anchors and the anchor chains and also other objects that were easy to take along. The propeller was taken to Turku on the vessel ”Maija” used by the divers. Part of the objects that were salvaged were shown at the exhibition ”Meri Kutsuu” (The sea is calling) in the concert hall of Turku.

The divers ”lost” one of the pontoons. On request by the insurance company the diving club ”Neptun” searched for the ”lost” pontoon. They found it and salvaged it in the summer of 1968.

The oil on board S/S Park Victory was discussed by inhabitants of the archipelago and by other seafarers during a couple of decades. In 1994 the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE had sufficient know-how and experience to be able to clean the wreck. This work was made during a period of 6 years, 1994 – 2000.

text, material and editing Jouko Moisala / layout Maarit Nissilä