Suspected Submarine Fired On By Finnish Navy Off Helsinki
Authorities in Finland have reported that the country’s navy fired depth charges at a suspected submarine located in the waters off Helsinki, after they failed to identify the suspicious vessel.
The unusual incident began on April 27, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, and was prompted when the navy detected an underwater object around midday which could possibly have been a submarine. Though no details have been revealed about the specific type of submarine involved, Finland’s naval forces reported a second sighting during the night, which prompted them to release several “light depth charges at three in the morning.”
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Defense Minister Carl Haglund observed that while the intruding vessel could possibly be a submarine, its identity has yet to be confirmed by authorities.
“We determined that there was something there under the water… we dropped a couple of warning depth charges which cause a lot of noise but don’t pose any danger to the possible target,” he noted. “At this stage we don’t know if it was a vessel or something else. What we do know is that our sensors detected sounds that indicate activity.”
Finland’s navy has detected such strange underwater activity before, but the dropping of depth charges is considered to be highly unusual. The last time the weapons were utilized to warn away a suspected submarine was in 2004.
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The submarine incident in Finland comes amid increased Russian military activity in the Baltic, according to the Telegraph, which has prompted the neutral nation to announce closer military cooperation with other Nordic countries, including Norway and Denmark. Finland shares a border with Russia, which spans 830 miles.
Last year, Swedish forces pursued a suspected submarine in their territorial waters after several observations were made near Stockholm. Though their efforts were unsuccessful, as the Inquisitr previously reported, most Swedish defense analysts pointed to Russia as the likely culprit behind the submarine intrusion.
Though Haglund did not specifically accuse Russia while discussing the recent incursion, he noted the similarities with last year’s incident in Sweden.
“We strongly suspect that there has been underwater activity that does not belong there. Of course it is always serious if our territorial waters have been violated,” he noted.
Finland’s Navy has not detected any further underwater activity, and it is believed that the intruder, whether a submarine or not, has fled the region.
[Image: Jussi Nukari/LEHTIKUVA via AP]