Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

Investigation of a possible 18th century Dutch shipwreck on Christmas Island or the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Author/s C. Ariese

Year of publication 2011

Report Number: 285

The existence of an unidentified 18th century Dutch shipwreck emerges periodically in books, letters and conversations about Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. An investigation of these sources indicated that different ships may be responsible for these rumours, but it is equally possible that the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island themselves have been confused over the centuries or that the drifting wreckage from one ship somewhere in the vicinity of these islands has been ascribed to both places. The purpose of this essay is to compile all the citings and to make a tentative identification of the wreck. A number of interpretations are offered and, finally, recommendations for further research are made.