On a late summer day in 1956, civil engineer Anders Franzén and salvage diver Per Edvin Fälting were on a boat just off of Beckholmen. It had been 328 years since Vasa sank and Franzén, who had had a major interest in wrecks of the period since his youth, had spent three summers searching, without success, for the ship’s resting place.

Based on new information, the team had localized their search to a particular area. Franzén also had a modified version of a sounding device he built, which could extract samples of the sea bed wherever it landed.

Owing to the low salinity and absence of shipworms in the Baltic, Franzén understood that Vasa, being made of oak, could very well be in excellent condition. So when his sounding device returned with bits of blackened oak, twice in a row at a 20-meter interval, he was certain he'd located the wreck site.

Diving on the wreck had been the focus of much attention right from the beginning. Using the latest underwater TV cameras, the the divers’ progress could be followed on monitors at the surface.

It was not a matter of simply lifting the huge ship out of the water. Tunnels were first created under the ship with high-pressure streams of water sprayed with Zetterström nozzles. Next, strong steel cables were drawn through the tunnels and connected to pontoons on the surface. Vasa was then raised, in 18 progressive stages, to shallower water until it was finally brought to rest just off of Kastellholmen in preparation for the final lift.

On the morning of April 24th, 1961, Vasa broke the surface before a captivated audience. In what was Sweden's first live television broadcast to Europe, both local and international viewers could take part in the historical event.