Hungarian divers find 17th-century Dutch ship near Brazil
Voetboog was a three-mast flyboat, which left the port of Batavia (now Jakarta) for The Netherlands with a 109-member crew on board, the expedition leader Attila K. Szaloky told MTI.
Owned by the Dutch East India Company, the Fluyt ship carried silk, spices, tea, Japanese and Chinese porcelain as well as nearly 180,000 pieces of Dutch golden ducats.
The estimated value of the wreckage is about 1 billion dollars, he said.
Sailing on the Atlantic, the ship was probably caught by a storm and its only chance to get home was to stick close to the Brazilian coast. For reasons unknown, however, it sank near the coast of Pernambuco state on May 29, 1700.
The team of Octopus Association for Marine Archaeology found the wreckage in October 2008 but announced the discovery only after the first phase of examinations came to an end.
The objects found in the depths suggest that it is indeed the wreckage of Voetboog which is lying on the seabed under several metres thick of sediment. Over the past 309 years, the ship has virtually disintegrated, Szaloky said.
The finds will be brought to surface and conserved in line with Brazilian law.
18 December 2009
Our redaction have the duty to inform you that this story could be a scam in the making.
From a professional source, we learned that the only coin they found was the one shown on their website ! And the ship's wreckage was found in 2008. This salvage story doesn't look very clear now.
If this story was genuine and this Hungarian team had located the wreck in Brazilian waters, then they were surveying inside the 200 miles limit, within the Brazilian continental platform.
The LESTA and R-LESTA laws are very clear on that subject; only surveying ships shall remain within this limit and under strict permission, therefore the Brazilian Navy would be aware of everything. Unfortunately, no official news has come out from this strange expedition...