The Swedish armed forces have scrambled to find a suspected foreign vessel that has been sighted in the waters off Stockholm. Images of the mystery vessel show it to be a possible submarine that has partially surfaced its sail but the poor quality of the footage makes positive identification difficult. An additional photograph shows a man apparently in black wading gear walking on a rocky outcrop before getting back in the water. The Swedish armed forces have denied either the vessel or the man belong to the Swedish military and given the proximity of the sightings to Stockholm have responded accordingly. The Swedish air and naval forces are scouring a series of islands 30 miles from the capital city looking for the vessel.
The Swedish media has been awash with speculation that the vessel is Russian in origin and have cited the numerous intrusions Soviet submarines made in to Swedish waters throughout the Cold War. These intrusions culminated in 1981 when the Whiskey-class submarine S-363 (then operating as U137) ran aground less than ten miles from the major Swedish naval base it was spying on.
The Swedish Navy have responded by stating that it is far too early to make any assumptions regarding the origin of the vessel or its purpose so close to Sweden’s capital. The search continues for the mystery vessel but it is likely that given the media attention it has possibly retreated away from the search area.