Shipwrecks discovered and excavated
Johanna 1682 (Joanna)
The Johanna was an English East Indiaman of 550 tons, commanded by Captain Robert Brown.
Le Centaur 1750
The Centaur was a French ship carrying 300 crew, 100 passengers and a cargo, which consisted solely of "peppercorns". She was commanded by Captain Monsieur de la Butte and bound from Mauritius to France, when on the 19th January 1750, she ran aground a little west of Cape Agulhas in fine weather.
The Colebrooke is an English East Indiaman of 739 tons. She is 137 feet long, 35 feet wide and had 3 decks. She was built by Perryard and launched in 1770. The Captain was Arthur Morris and she was on her third voyage. There were 212 people on board, of which 7 drowned in the surf while trying to reach the shore.
The Sussex was an English East Indiaman bound from Canton in China for England. She was commanded by Captain Francis Gostelow.
The Britannia wrecked on the 22nd October 1826 on her outward bound voyage from England to Madeira, Table Bay, Mauritius and India. The Captain was William Bouchier. The Britannia was a ship of 460 tons, carrying passengers and a cargo of copper, lead, Madeira wines, Hodgson's ale and Cognac brandy.
The search for the Brederode began in 1982. The Brederode was a Dutch East India Company (VOC) vessel that was lost off the South African coast while homeward bound from Batavia and China in 1785, carrying a valuable cargo of tea, spices, satin and linen cloth, porcelain, tin and gold. (Not excavated yet).
Nossa Senhora dos Milagros 1686 (Milagros)
The Milagros was a Portuguese vessel of 30 guns and 150 men, commanded by Don Emmanual Da Silva, a close friend of the Portuguese King Pedro. The ship was on her way from Goa (India) to Portugal, bearing "Presents for Kings" from the King of Siam. (Not excavated yet).
Other shipwrecks excavated
The Borderer was a British iron ship of 1062 tons, built in 1864 by Lawrie, Glasgow. She was commanded by Captain J. Laback and owned by Messrs.J Willis and Son, of London.
H.M.S. Birkenhead 1852
The Birkenhead was a British iron, paddle-wheel frigate of 1400 tons. She was built in 1845 by Laird and converted into a troopship in 1848, changing her name from Vulcan to the Birkenhead.
Johanna Wagner 1862
The Johanna Wagner was a Prussian barque of 600 tons, commanded by Captain Kempe. She was bound from Batavia to Amsterdam with a cargo of tobacco, sugar, coffee, India rubber, gall-nuts, gum damar and tin. Wrecked at Strandfontein near Muizenberg on the night of the 15th July 1862.
Interesting shipwreck stories
The Schonenberg was a Dutch East Indiaman of 800 tons built in 1717 at the Amsterdam yard for the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch East India Company. She was commanded by Captain Albert van Soest and was on a homeward bound voyage from Batavia, when she wrecked at Cape Agulhas on 21st November 1722.
Von Mollendorf treasure
"Joseph Wilhelm von Mollendorf, son of a Prussian field marshal, came to South Africa towards the end of the eighteenth century. He transshipped at Cape Town, but the vessel, which carried him round the coast, has not been identified with certainty. It may have been the Dutch East India ship Maria , which put into Plettenburg Bay in 1788 with her crew suffering from scurvy. A southeast gale drove her away from the anchorage, and she was wrecked farther along the coast"
Charles Shapiro cc T/A "Aqua Exploration"
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