The Vergulde Draeck

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The Vergulde Draeck translated means gilt dragon.

Description of the vessel

The vergulde draeck is described as a jacht and was made of wood. The boat was 260 tonnes was 4.1 metres in depth and was 41.8 metres in length and 9.8 metres in breadth. The ship was a cargo ship and carried only its cargo and crew. The ship was used as a trading ship.

How and where was it shipwrecked?

On the 28th of April 1656 following the Brouwers route, Vergulde Draeck left the Cape of Good Hope with the intention of making use of the trade winds to cross 5000 miles of Indian Ocean before turning north toward the East Indies. Having had no way of measuring longitude and distance accurately the vessel struck a reef off the coast Western Australia north of Yanchep near Ledge Point. It began to break up immediately. The ship was found by G.,

J. and A. Henderson, J. Cowan and A. Robinson (14 April 1963)

GPS position:

· Latitude 31° 13.3600 ' S

· Longitude 115° 21.4800 ' E

Were there any deaths of missing persons?

When the ship started to break up two of the ships lifeboats were launched but only 75 of a crew of 193 were able to make it to shore. Seven of the crew were immediately sent to seek assistance in Batavia, while the captain of the vessel, Albertsz and the rest of his crew remained behind. Forty-one days later, with the news of the wrecked ship, the ships Goede Hoop and the fluit Witte Valke left Batavia to search for survivors. Several other searches took place in that year, but all failed to find any of the missing crew

Description of the wreck site today

The wreck site covers an area 50 metres long...