Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

'Action man' Russian president Putin explores shipwreck in latest adventure

July 16, 2013 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
Assisted by a Russian scientist, Putin fixes a satellite transmitter to a tiger during his visit to the Ussuriysky forest reserve of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Far East on August 31, 2008. Assisted by a Russian scientist, Putin fixes a satellite transmitter to a tiger during his visit to the Ussuriysky forest reserve of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Far East on August 31, 2008.
HIDE CAPTION
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Photos: Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
Cult of Putin
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russian president Vladimir Putin explores Baltic Sea shipwreck in submersible
  • Latest stunt for macho politician, happy to be photographed in speeding cars and bomber jets
  • Not the first time the 60 year old has taken to the water in bid to show intrepid spirit
  • In 2009, ancient urns "discovered" in Siberian Lake, later revealed as planted

MainSail is CNN's monthly sailing show, exploring the sport of sailing, luxury travel and the latest in design and technology.

(CNN) -- He's fired darts at a gray whale, sped through St Petersburg in an F1 car, and taken a supersonic flight in a bomber jet.

Now Russia's "action man" president, Vladimir Putin, has again flexed his muscle in his latest testosterone-filled publicity stunt -- diving to the bottom of the Baltic sea aboard a red submersible to explore a 19th century shipwreck.

The 60-year-old former KGB spy, showed no signs of slowing down his manly pursuits for the cameras, plunging 50 meters below the water to examine the frigate which sank in the Gulf of Finland in 1869.

Read: Cousteau to live in underwater village 31 days

Looking back at America's Cup tragedy
Making America's Cup safer
Part 2: Russian owners compete at RC44

Putin climbed aboard the Sea Explorer 5 underwater research vessel on Monday for a 30-minute dive to the wooden wreck -- called Oleg -- which was discovered by divers in 2003.

State television showed images of the Russian strongman carefully inspecting the wreck from the front seat of the glass-fronted capsule.

Putin commented on how well-preserved the wreck was, before also praising the work of the Russian Geographic Society, which has been studying the sunken vessel.

Read: Titanic director in groundbreaking deep sea exploration

It's not the first time the thrill-seeking president has taken to the water in a bid to highlight his intrepid spirit and physical prowess.

In 2009, Putin dived to the bottom of Lake Baikal in Siberia aboard a mini-submarine.

Then in 2011 the Russian leader announced he had discovered two ancient urns while scuba diving in the Black Sea. Though, embarrassingly for the president, the Kremlin last year admitted the stunt was staged.

Read: Underwater hotel meets space-age design

In 2012 Putin also faced accusations from environmentalists that a seemingly wild tiger he tranquilized during a research expedition, had in fact been brought in from a zoo.

Indeed, the pumped-up president's stunts have drawn ridicule online -- last year he earned the nickname "alpha-crane" after flying a deltplane in a mission to lead rare birds on their migration route.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
MainSail
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Wide shot of a sailboat from a drone
"Sometimes, I fly the drone with my head in a trash bag so I don't get salt spray from the sea on my equipment," says drone operator Justice L Bentz.
November 11, 2014 -- Updated 1401 GMT (2201 HKT)
If some naval architects get their way, superyachts of the future will look more like floating pieces of art than bog standard boats.
November 4, 2014 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
This is no treasure hunt for a casket of gold at the bottom of the ocean.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
Navigate the world's most treacherous seas, crossing 73,000 nautical kilometers in a confined space with stressed-out, sleep-deprived crewmates. 
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
Personal submarines, jetpacks, even 'walking boats.'
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
Over 300 miles from the nearest ocean, competitors in one of the world's fastest sailing races prepare for battle.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1544 GMT (2344 HKT)
London's new superyacht hotel is so enormous, authorities had to lower the water level by five meters just to fit it under a bridge.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
His mast-walking stunts have attracted over 3.5 million hits on YouTube, but Alex Thomson just wants to get back to doing what he does best.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1432 GMT (2232 HKT)
Elizabeth Meyer talks to CNN's Mainsail about the "Armageddon battle" to restore the pioneering J-class boat Endeavour.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Ship captains of the future won't be salty sea dogs with their hand at the helm, and the ocean at their feet.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
Like "Downton Abbey," Henley's Royal Regatta reminds its visitors of an England of old. But for how much longer?
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
VO65 'Dongfeng' Training in Hong Kong
Nine months at sea, one change of clothes, freeze-dried food and a strange language. Could you cope?
June 11, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Can a $134 million budget and the royal seal of approval bring the coveted America's Cup back to British shores for the first time in sailing history?
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
Bored of lounging on your superyacht in the Mediterranean? An increasing number of millionaires are now sailing their luxury vessels to the ends of the Earth, to get their kicks.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
He's one of the great landscape artists, but JMW Turner also had a watery passion -- and his maritime travels are being retraced.
ADVERTISEMENT