Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Shipwreck Mystery

The Zeewijk is one the Dutch ships wrecked along the coast and still revealing secrets about history of exploration, contact and trade from hundreds of years ago. Source: WA Museum.

Bonnie Christian, Shipwreck mystery: Search to begin for Dutch vessel off WA coast, ABC News, 9 March 2016

New evidence has sparked a search by the Western Australian Museum for a possible shipwreck, believed to be lost off the Mid West coast of Western Australia about 300 years ago.

The wreck is thought to be Dutch East India Company vessel the Aagtekerke, which left the Netherlands on its maiden voyage in 1725 and disappeared the following year without a trace.

Historical research and previous surveys indicated there was a high probability an 18th century shipwreck lay in the vicinity of the another Dutch East India Company wreck, Zeewijk, which was lost off the Abrolhos Islands at Half Moon Reef in 1727.

An aerial magnetometer survey of a section of the islands, known as the Pelsaert Group, has begun searching for magnetic anomalies that would indicate the presence of another, undiscovered shipwreck.

Experts believe this evidence is strong enough to indicate the wreck will be found during this search, even though other attempts have been unsuccessful.

The West Australian Museum said records from Zeewijk survivors detailed the presence of timbers and artefacts from an older shipwreck in the surrounding area.

The survey will also extend further than the reef, based on the understanding a wreck could be located in deeper water.

There are four other Dutch East India Company wrecks off the Abrolhos Islands, which include the Batavia, wrecked in 1629.

The search is being funded by global shipbuilder Austal Chairman John Rothwell.

All historic shipwrecks are protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act which makes it illegal to damage wreck sites or remove artefacts from them.

 

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.
.