An English pirate ship in Indonesian waters

The loss of the Forbes, English pirate ship !

Extracted from the Prince of Wales Island Government Gazette 1806 - by Pascal Kainic

The "Forbes", Captain Frazer Sinclair, sailed from Calcutta bound to the Eastward on a trading voyage with a cargo of opium, piece goods and iron; returning home laden with a profit to a considerable amount about 2 A.M then going at the rate of 5 knots, she struck on a reef of rocks at the Southern entrance of the straits of Billiton, latitude 3° 40' South, together with a Dutch brig which had been taken as prize during the voyage.

She was from Batavia bound to Sourabaya with a cargo of wine, gin, arrack &... The boats were immediately hoisted out, and every endeavour made to get the ship off, but unfortunately without any effect, as in about 2 hours after, the stern went down in 5 fathoms; finding every attempt to save either the vessel or cargo fruitless.

The crew with 5 Javanese taken from the brig were divided into three boats: Captain Sinclair, Mr. Robert Sharp, 4th mate and 11 of the crew of the pinnace, after undergoing the greatest distress from want of water and provisions under a scorching sun, without an awning or anything to cover them, fell in with the General Baird, Captain John Harford, eight days after leaving the wreck who supplied them with everything requisite for their further progress to Malacca.

We understand, that the Penang packet, Captain Matthews has been chartered and despatched by Mr. Douglas to the reef of rocks where the "Forbes" and her prize were unfortunately lost, for the purpose of endeavouring to recover some part of the property and treasure on account of the underwriters.

103 years later... and a few months, we have the news that a German team of treasure hunters located the wreck site, making a deal with the Indonesian authorities to salvage the remains of the ship and her valuables...



German treasure-hunter recovering pirate booty


  • Dave Fisherman.
    • 1. Dave Fisherman. On 26/11/2009
    This a Great find if I were a pro-maritime,acyoligist.
    I'd love to find a pirateship.
    I've only heard of the sunken/found pirateship,the Whydah.
    I guess that there aren't many sunk/found pirate shipes reported.
    I've always been intrested in Pirates and shipwrecks.
    I hope they find a lot of Treasure and facts and put um in a mesuem.
    They should make a documentry of the find for t.v.

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