Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a small submersible craft down to the bottom of the Black Sea to see an ancient ship recently discovered off the coast of Crimea.

Putin, who has a penchant for adventurous stunts, previously explored the Gulf of Finland and Lake Baikal in submersibles. In another of his well-publicized exploits, he went scuba diving and brought up ancient Greek pottery shards that his spokesman later admitted had been planted.

On Tuesday, he went down 83 meters (272 feet) in a three-seat submersible to see the remains of a Byzantine trading ship, which he said dated back to the 9th or 10th century.

Speaking by radio while still under water, Putin said he hoped the find would shed light on Russia's historical development.