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Putin awards explorer for finding legendary sunken Russian battleship

December 09, 2014, 16:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The battleship Lefort with 826 aboard sank in a severe storm in the Gulf of Finland On September 10, 1857, the place and accurate cause of wreckage remained unknown for about a century and a half

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Wreckage of battleship Lefort

Wreckage of battleship Lefort

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Kravchyuk, technical diving center of St. Petersburg

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Konstantin Bogdanov with Russian Geographical Society’s man of the year prize on Tuesday.

Bogdanov was presented with this award “for finding and exploring battleship Lefort, as the place and the accurate cause of its wreckage remained unknown for about a century and a half.”

Konstantin Bogdanov led and arranged an expedition searching for battleship Lefort, chairs an exploring diving club and heads an international underwater search expedition titled “The bow to ships of the Great Victory [in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945]”. On May 4, 2013, within this project explorers have found Russia’s Imperial Baltic Fleet battleship Lefort, as its wreckage site had been unknown for a century and a half and causes for its sinking had been unclear. The tragedy of the ship and its 826 passengers is ranked ninth on the list of most large-scale peacetime shipwrecks in the humankind history.

The discovery included dozens of submersions to a depth of 70 metres that made it possible to find causes for the shipwreck and restore the course of those dramatic events. A virtual museum with photo and video materials from the last harbour of the ship was set up on expedition results that gave an opportunity to millions to see the legend.

In 1854, battleship Lefort assisted in the defence of Kronshtadt in the Gulf of Finland during the Crimean War, but did not participate in military actions. On September 10, 1857, Lefort with 826 aboard sank in a severe storm in the Gulf of Finland.

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