2002 will mark the 400th anniversary of the origins of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or Dutch East India Company, whose extensive and monopolistic trading activities helped to shape the modern world. In the quest for new sources of luxury goods to furnish the European markets, few parts of the globe were left untouched. Casualties in the form of armed merchant ships, which never completed their journeys, are to be found in and around many of the world's oceans and shores, providing tangible evidence of these trading activities in the remains of the ships themselves and the cargoes that they carried. Some of the Company vessels hardly started their journeys before sinking. One of these was the 145', 850 ton vessel Vliegent Hart. On the afternoon of the 3rd February 1735, the ship with a complement of 256 passengers and crew, under the command of Captain Abraham van der Horst departed the port of Rammekens, Zeeland on it's second trip to the East Indies. Laden with a cargo including, Company gold and silver coin, wine, gunpowder, iron, building bricks and wood, it was caught in a severe northeasterly gale and within twelve hours had sunk in the Deurloo Channel, not twelve miles from the Dutch coast. The summer months of July and August 2001, saw a team of maritime archaeologists, surveyors and specialist commercial divers, continuing the archaeological exploration of this vessel which began as long ago as 1979...
Diving the Wreck
|Current Project||The Museum|
|Wrecking of the
Design © L.M. Perkins
Text © A. Hildred & Rex Cowan; Photos owned by Undersea