Vaindloo freighter


Technical data
  • Length: 53 meters, 604 GRT
  • Armament: none
  • Sank on 29 August 1941 to the southeast of Gogland Island after being bombed by German aircraft while crossing from Gogland Island to Kronstadt
  • Length: 67 meters
  • Found and identified by our team in 2014
Ship history

The Vaindloo freighter (formerly the Vestkusten, an Estonian cargo-and-passenger steamer) was not one of the ships traveling from Tallinn to Kronstadt, so you will not find its name on monuments and memorials dedicated to the Soviet evacuation of Tallinn, the Baltic Fleet’s largest and most tragic operation of WWII, which is sometimes referred to as the «Russian Dunkirk».

However, the Vaindloo did indeed participate in that operation. The Vaindloo arrived at Gogland on the evening of 28 August to evacuate wounded sailors from the island who had been rescued from the water and sinking ships of Admiral Svyatov’s detachment. On the morning of 29 August, after taking the wounded aboard, the Vaindloo departed for Kronstadt. However, just a few miles from Gogland Island, German dive-bombers attacked the ship and it sank.

Unfortunately, there are no records of how many people were on board, how many of them were killed, or any details of the attack. Until its discovery, nobody even knew where it sank.

Seafloor conditions: the ship is preserved in excellent condition, on an even keel, fully accessible for inspection. The windows and doors are broken on the port side, apparently from the explosions of bombs that were dropped, and the deckhouse is easily accessible. The telegraph, helm and compass stand are preserved in excellent condition.