"SADKO" CLUB ODYSSEY

The Nikolaev club of underwater search "Sadko" was founded more than 30 years ago by the divers-enthusiasts group on a voluntary basics. The heart of a club were the following members: Konovalov M., Korchagin A., Apolonov V., Koudrya V., Florinskiy V., Gerasimov D., Shkuratovskiy V., Ternovskiy M., Bondarev A., Dorofeev N., Tokarev A., Andreeva P., Feodorov E., Belkin I., Zubritskiy E., Shulrupher B., Deuvlash N. Acting during the free time and summer vacations, the club members accomplished their expeditions on the Black Sea for a search and underwater investigations of the Black Sea Fleet battle ships that were lost during the Second world war. The main purposes of this expeditions were to state the names of the killed soldiers, the search of the sinked battle ships of the documents and the materials that give a possibility to get it to know the lost hours and minutes of the ships life and her screw, the lift of the battle relics for the museums.

Officially the "Sadko" club history begins from the expeditions in 1964 to the Crimea reserve "Cara Dag", but in 1963 the future "Sadko" members have taken part in the First Ukrainian submarine expeditions for the battle ship search, organized by the Kiev's divers, "Rabochaya Gazeta" newspaper, and Ukrainian Republic Underwater Sport Federation.

The Club has never been a professional, one as it is. It has united the people of different ages and professions, going for diving sport and using only their private time. The means for the expeditions the club members earned themselves making different submarin-technic works. Made in such a way, the club budget made it possible to buy the required technics and floating means. So, in different times, the club used such expedition vessels as: motor ship "Iskatel" with a displacement of 40 tons, motor boat "Rif" with a displacement of 8 tons, motor boat "Delphin - 2" with a displacement 10 tons.

Different organizations and authorities had a positive attitude to the club activity and helped to it. So, in 1974 the club received the gift from the Norse Fleet from the USSR Navy Commander-in-Chief - the base mine-sweeper with a displacement of 250 tons, called later "A. Elkin" - in a favor of Clubs friend - writer-mariner Anatoliy Elkin. That ship has served to the club more than 10 years.

Since 1965 the club has started the search of sinked battle ships. That year it was discovered the destroyer "Frunze", lost in autumn of 1941. The works lasted 10 years with some breaks and it were discovered the hundreds of finds and lifted the tens of relics from the sea bottom. It were discovered two safes with the documents, one of which belonged to the ship commissar. Due to the safes documents, it was stated the complete list of destroyer screw. After the television film demonstration, based on underwater shooting of the sinked ship, some alived "Frunze" sailors have responded. Due to their memory, it was completely reconstructed the drama events of the ship last battle. It were dismantled and lifted 102-mm "Frunze" main calibre guns, with a weight more than a few tons each. It was lifted and installed as a monument, to the destroyer "Frunze" sailors, the anchor of this ship on the Tendra spit.

In 1973 it was discovered and investigated in Egorlyitskiy gulf the flag-ship of the Danube fleet - the monitor "Udarnyiy", lost in September, 1941. It was lifted the 45-mm gun monitor turret, with the help of the Club floating crane "Crab".

In autumn 1941, the minelayner "Kolhoznik" was lost not far from the Kinburskayar spit. In 1974, the were lifted two 76-mm guns, and antiaircraft machinegun from this ship.

The lifted from the sea bottom the guns from "Frunze", "Udarnyiy", "Kolhoznik" have stopped dead for ever on the opened demonstration ground of Nikolayev Shipbuilding and Fleet Museum, as a monument to the sailors, that gave their lifes defending the Motherland.

During the expedition in 1977 to the Kazachya bay in Crimea, it was discovered the soviet bomber IL - 4. As a result of work, there were lifted two machineguns, it was established the number of the aircraft and its screw. After the publications about this expedition, the only saved screw member has responded. He has never supposed that the remote past will return to him a such a way.

All the 70-th the Club many times returned back to the search of the schooner "Deiphin", lost in 1944 with the document of the First Gwardeyskiy Krasnoznamennyiy Nikolaev Ukreprayon. In the lost document there were the names of 12 unknown soldiers from the Olshanskiy expeditionary force, that has taken the key role in liberation of our town from the German troops. Till now the ship remains are not discovered, but the searches in Archives, exchanging of letters and meetings with the witnesses , gave the positive results: it were established the names of all soldiers and officers including the "Delphin" screw, that were killed with the schooner.

The cooperation with the Black Sea fleet Hydrographic service took a large place in a club activity. The "Sadko" members with the hydrographers investigated the underwater obstacles threatening to navigation. At the end of 70-th and beginning 80-th there were investigated in such a way the hundreds of thousands of square meters of sea bottom, the tens of underwater obstacles including the sinked ships. So, not far from Zmeinyiy island it was discovered the Soviet submarine "Щ-208". This kind of the club activity made it possible to correct the sea maps, and to increase the safety of navigation.

The club expeditions covered the considerable part of the Black Sea. In 1969 there was an expedition to the Caucasian beach and in 1972 it was accomplished the transport from Crimea of the motor boat "Rif", bought for the expeditions. In 1974 the young Club members organized an expedition to Crimea - Alupka. During the voyage the weather conditions were very hard, but the screw came through successfully, in spit of the fact, that the club members were not a professional sailors.

There were more than 70 expeditions for the 35 years Club history. As a result, there were discovered except mentioned above two soviet aircraft's not far from Lebyaji islands, sea hunter in Tendra bay, destroyer in Belbeck river, the tugs "Baykal", "Tayfun" and "OP-8", a few barges, the transport vessels "Bryansk" and "Sulina", the German transport vessel "Zaltsburg", Rumanian one "Teodoric", the Tsar fleet armorclad "Chesma", some unknown transport vessels not far from Evpatoria and Byaja-lagoon.

During the many years Club history it accomplished some archaeological researches. In 1968 it was an expedition to the Zmeinyiy together with the Odessa Archaeological Museum. It was investigated the whole underwater part of the island, and here were discovered the ship remains, amphoras and Ahill temple marble details that was on the island in antic times. In 1996 the Club made an underwater archaeological research of the Berezan lagoon bottom. There were discovered a large number of antic ceramics. The expedition has corroborated the modern conception of the North Black Sea region greek colonization conception.

The Club the work aboard the old sailing vessel not far from Kinburskaya spit, it was supposed the frigate of Russia - Turkey wars times. It were lifted the fragments of ship skin, explosive cannon-bolls, buck-shot. It was lifted and gaved for the Ochakov museum of regional studies exposition the steel 5 meters height anchor.

At the beginning of 90-th there were discovered: the wheels steamship in the Tendra gulf, an unknown tug not far from the Kinburskaya spit and there were some attempts to find the lost submarine A-3 "Marksist" near the Tendra spit.

The Club has been booking for the new directions of activity. So, it has taken an active part in the town Nikolayev history research. In 1992-1993 the Club together with the town Architecture Administration made an expedition to investigate the artificial undergrounds and karst hollownesses under the town - so called "catacomb". It was investigated the historical aspect of this structures and their influence on the town ecology situation. It was considered the question about the optimum town building with the respect of this underground construction. During the work there were many collisions with the mysteries and riddles having mostly the mystical character. The expeditions had a certain results, but to our sorry the investigations were not completed. The "underground" investigations as always actual for our town and the Club plans to return to them in future again.

The perspective direction of activity the Club considers now the search of lost ships and other underwater objects, underwater archaeology of the North Black Sea region, the region ethnography and town history investigations.

For any contacts we ask you to address to:

E-mail: mail@sadko.mk.ua