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stepping stones of maritime history


The Buiten Ratel wreck was most likely a DEIC ship on an outbound voyage, which sank shortly after departure. No objects with the DEIC mark have yet been found on board.

In terms of dating and equipment, the ship Bethlehem is the most suitable. The Bethlehem was a Eastindia man that left Texel on December 24, 1741 on it's 3rd outward bound destination Ceylon. She was wrecked on the Flemish banks 29 -12- 1741. 57 from the 250 men on board managed to escape. The cargo was lost.*

A brand new precious gold pocket watch was found in the outer rattle wreck with mark (G) and style features dating it exactly to 1741.

The watch was made by the Amsterdam watchmaker Bernd Scalé who worked in Beursstraat. Other finds also point towards an Amsterdam origin.

The wreck is located on the Buiten Ratel sandbank, at a minimal depth of 6.5 meters. Parts of the wreck rise up to 1.5 meters from the sea bottom. Items found in the wreck are similar to those found in the wrecks of several eighteenth century VOC ships. It should be noted that no items marked with the VOC's monogram were found, which is usually the case in other wrecks. The utensils date from the first half of the eighteenth century. A pocket watch, found in the wreck, was almost certainly presented for calibration in Amsterdam between December 1740 and December 1741. As it is still in very good shape, the ship probably sank shortly after that.


Built: VOC yard Amsterdam 1731

MasterIJsbrand Moens.
People on board250
Length144.8 Amsterdam feet (41 m)
Tonnage850 ton (425 last)


Wreck is mostly dismantled and in poor condition. In 2014, it was largely covered in sand.


Down on 23 July

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