The Estonian Maritime Administration (EMA) hydrographers surveyed almost 1164 square kilometres of seabed and lake and river bottom, using hydrography vessels Jakob Prei, EVA-320, EVA-301 and Kaja belonging to the Administration. Of the total, 1025 square kilometres of surveys was carried out at sea, 30 in lake Peipsi and 9 in the Suur Emajõgi river. By comparison, in 2018 almost 1700 square kilometres was covered in all. The survey operations depend heavily on the weather conditions and water depths – the deeper the water, the bigger an area can be covered at one time.
In 2019, hydrographic surveys were carried out mostly west of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa islands in the Baltic Sea, in the Väinameri sea area, the Gulf of Riga, and in the vicinity of Tallinn in the Gulf of Finland.
This year, 10 new wrecks were found in the course of hydrographic surveys. The most interesting of those was probably the Soviet submarine M94, which was hit by a German torpedo in July in 1941. Also, wrecks were discovered in the Gulf of Finland and in the Gulf of Riga, as well as near Hiiumaa, but these appear to be old vessels built from wood. In total, there are 564 wrecks in the MA database.
The MA has covered 23 900 square kilometres with hydrographic surveys, which makes 66 % of Estonian sea areas, and about 110 square kilometres (70 %) of lake Peipsi. The data collected by MA hydrographers are used as basis for the navigational charts compiled by our cartographers.
Next year, the hydrographic surveys season begins in spring again.