In the spring of 2003 the Estonian Maritime Museum and the commercial diving company "Tuukritööde OÜ" launched the joint project of finding the ironclade "Russalka" that got lost 110 years ago.
As it is generally known, the Russian "monitor" type warship perished in a severe gale with the whole crew on the way from Tallinn to Helsinki in September 1893. Built taking example by the well known American ironclad "Monitor", the "Russalka" had frightening fire-power, but her seaworthiness was defective. The same feature sent the "Monitor" to the bottom in 1862. After the loss of the "Russalka" a number of Russian warships were engaged in search of her wreck during five months, but the ironclad remained undiscovered. It was decided then, that the "Russalka" is not possible to locate at all. A beautiful monument to the lost warship and her crewmembers was erected in Tallinn nine years later.
In 1978 the Estonian Maritime Museum, whose cooperator the "Tuukritööde OÜ" is today, started with marine archaeological research at sea. A number of sunken ships have been located for today together. In order to develop deep diving technology and research work in Estonia, the "Tuukritööde OÜ" has invested for years. Different diving and electronic detection equipment, as side scan sonar, scanning sonar, ROV, modern rebreathers, cameras and lights have been obtained.
In 22th July 2003 the wreck of the probable ironclad "Russalka" was found at the depth 74 metres by the museum´s research vessel "Mare". In order to identify the wreck, director of the "Tuukritööde OÜ" Kaido Peremees and the skillful diver from Tartu – Indrek Ostrat dived on it. The "Buddy Inspiration" rebreathers were used. The "Russalka" was recognized and fixed by the videocamera. Inspection of the wreck made possible to interprete the process of sinking of the warship. It is known today, what happened that stormy day, what o´clock and why. The wreck is standing on the bottom almost upright, with her bow deep in the mud and the stern rising high up in the length of 33 metres. No one object was taken up. The wreck must rest in peace as sea grave, monument of technology and war history. Curiously the both ironclades, the "Russalka" and the "Monitor" were located after 110 years of their loss and even approximately at the same depth. The "Russalka" is undoubtedly the most well-known wreck in Gulf of Finland.