King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden ordered the building of a considerable number of large warships. They included the WASA, which was already under construction and was originally to be called NY WASSAN.
By July 1628 all the cannons were on board and on the 10th of August of 1628 the WASA set sail on her maiden voyage. Once she was some way out to sea, she caught the wind in her sails. A sudden squall forced the ship onto her side and first attempts to right her were unsuccessful. Huge quantities of water entered through the open gun ports.
At the island of Beckholmen the WASA sank in 32 m of water. Salvage operations began on August 1628 and succeeded in bringing the WASA onto an even keel. However, it was not until 20th August 1959 that she was able to be raised for the first time. After 28 days, a tugboat towed the WASA 500 m to shallow water. By April 1961 all the preparations for raising the WASA out of the water had been completed. On May 1961, the vessel sailed in her own keel into a dry rock. In the meantime an enormous concrete pontoon had been built, which a short time later, became the ship’s permanent home.
The WASA still exists today. She is the oldest preserved and fully identified vessel currently known. She is berthed at the WASA shipyard in Stockholm.