Diving in Finland

Few other countries in the world have an archipelago like the one along the Finnish south and southwest coast. Scraped clean by glacial action during the ice age, innumerable ice-worn rocks and sandpits are still slowly raising from the shallow sea as the land rises a few inches in a century. It is a safe guess that there are over sixty thousand islands.

For divers, this means access to sheltered locations regardless of the weather, and many islands where nobody has dived before.

The salinity of the seawater is low, tide is not noticeable and strong currents donĀ“t exist. During the summer the visibility varies from 4 to 15 meters. The weater is fairly dry and water temperature at the surface may rise up to 18-20 celsius degrees in July. Days are long as Finland is also known as the land of a midnight sun at summertime. Deep down, however, the effect of the long, cold winters is felt in a year-round bottom temperature of 4 celcius. For long deep dives a compelete suit with hood, socks and gloves is necessary. One should also remember that a drysuit is certainly comfortable all year round, but is not necessary.

Below the surface

Main intrest of diving at the sea here are wrecks. That is also the reason why marine archeology is very popular. We have thousands of wrecks sunken in our waters and also the wooden ones are often well preserved, because the wood-eating snails (shipworms) do not live in the brackish waters of the Baltic.

Divers should remember that the law is very strict regarding sites of archeological value, so no objects may be removed from wrecks without express permission by the authorities.

Practical advice

Most of the diving here is done by the 207 diving clubs with their 12.058 members. Foreign divers are strongly recommended to contact the Finnish SportdiversĀ“Association and ask for information. This way one can get in contact with persons knowing most of the possibilities to dive at certain area, best place to hire diving equipment and they can also arrange one to dive at a reasonable cost.

For more information, please contact:

Finnish SportdiversĀ“Association

Radiokatu 20
FIN-00093 SLU
FINLAND

tel. +358 9 3481 2258
fax. +358 9 3481 2516
E-mail: office@susl.fi

4.12.2002