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Wreck of the ZEEWIJK

The Houtman Abrolhos, made up of three island groups, has been the site of many shipwrecks. The ZEEWIJK wrecked on Half Moon Reef, near Eendracht's land on 9th June, 1727. The ship struck with full force but did not break up immediately. Ninety six of the crew eventually reached one of the islands with provisions salvaged from the wreck. In 1840 the crew of H.M.S.BEAGLE discovered a VOC cannon and other artefacts on the island, consequently naming it 'Gun Island'. Other artefacts have been found at the site of the wreck itself, some washed over the reef and some were recovered from nearby islands that the ZEEWIJK castaways must have visited.

The wreck of ZEEWIJK was officially identified in the 1960's. In the 1970s archaeologists from the Western Australian Museum commenced a full survey of the site to record the remains of the wreck on both sides of the Half Moon reef.