Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

Vergulde Draak (Draeck) (Gilt Dragon) (1656/04/28)

Off Ledge Point

The Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon) sailed from Texel bound for Batavia (Jakarta), under Pieter Albertsz carrying trade goods and eight chests of silver to the value of 78,6000 guilders. On 28 April 1656 the Gilt Dragon was wrecked just south of Ledge Point. 75 of the 193 made it to shore. A small boat was sent with the Understeersman and six others to Batavia ( now Jakarta) arriving 40 days later. There they reported that as they sailed away they saw the other survivors trying to refloat a larger boat that had capsized in the surf while landing. Two vessels were sent south in search, but failed in difficult conditions to sight either the wreckage or the survivors. Eleven men and a boat were also lost during the search. In January 1658 two other ships were sent out in search but also proved unsuccessful. In searching for survivors, the yacht Goede Hoop and the Waeckende Boey lost boats and 10 men. A boat commanded by Abraham Leeman also disappeared, but it successfully returned to Batavia, arriving nearly six months after having been given up as lost. The wreck, the first of the Dutch and English East India ships found on the Western Australian coast, was discovered by five spear-fishermen (John Cowen; Jim, Alan and Graeme Henderson; and Alan Robinson ) in April 1963. After a period in which both it and the Batavia, (which was found later in the same year) were heavily looted shipwreck legislation was enacted, vesting the sites in the Western Australian Museum. Subsequently the remains were excavated by Jeremy Green and a report was published. Materials from the wreck are on exhibition.

Map of Batavia

Ship Built

Owner VOC

Master Pieter Albertsz

Builder VOC

Country Built Netherlands

Port Built Amsterdam

Port Registered Amsterdam

When Built 1653

Ship Lost

Gouped Region Mid-West

Sinking On reef

Crew 193

Deaths 118

When Lost 1656/04/28

Where Lost Off Ledge Point

Latitude -31.221391667

Longitude 115.35905

Position Information GPS

Port From Texel

Port To Batavia

Cargo Coins, general cargo

Ship Details

Engine N

Length 41.80

Beam 9.80

TONA 260.00

Draft 4.10

Museum Reference

Unique Number 786

Sunk Code Wrecked above water

File Number 858/71, 9/72, 424/71, 207/80

Chart Number AUS 334

Protected Protected Federal

Found Y

Inspected Y

Date Inspected 1996/01 GK, 16/3/2012 JNG

Confidential NO