Port Elizabeth‘s Bayworld maritime archeologist Jenny Bennie was over the moon recently after examining a new piece of wreckage from the Dutch sailing ship the Amsterdam.
The Amsterdam was wrecked in December 16, 1817, after a decision was taken to beach her after sustaining serious damage during a storm at sea while on an return voyage from the Indies to the Netherlands.
A section of the stern was spotted by Port Elizabeth resident Jenny Rump in the surf at Bluewater Bay on Friday, April 17, but it only washed onto land last week.
“Pieces of the wreck usually come ashore at this time of the year. The original find we made was in May, 1985. A portion of the ship could be seen rocking in the sea until it washed ashore. Heavy waves pushed the pieces onto the beach on Monday.”
According to Bennie, who wrote her master‘s dissertation on the wreck of the Amsterdam, the most exciting piece of wreckage to emerge was the huge six-metre high rudder post which measured one metre at its widest point.
The rudder post was attached to a piece of the stern but this broke away when it washed ashore.