Diamond Coast shipwreck gets spot in National Geographic

By Werner Menges - All Africa

The centuries-old shipwreck that was discovered in Namdeb's Mining Area 1 near Oranjemund in May last year has earned itself a place in the latest issue of National Geographic magazine.

The gripping story of the discovery of the remains of a ship that, loaded with a treasure of gold and silver coins, ivory, copper and other trading goods, met its end on a desert beach in one of the world's richest diamond areas close to 500 years ago, is told in an article in the October 2009 issue of National Geographic.

The article continues the international headlines that have been devoted to the shipwreck since its discovery during mining operations by Namdeb on April 1 last year.

"It is by far the oldest shipwreck ever found on the coast of sub-Saharan Africa, and the richest," it is stated in the article.

The wreck is now accepted to be the remains of a Portuguese ship that was sailing to India when it foundered on the Namibian coast after a huge storm at sea.

Portuguese maritime archaeologists have now concluded that the wreck is probably that of the Bom Jesus - the 'Good Jesus' - which was part of a fleet of trading ships sent from Portugal to India in 1533.

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