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stepping stones of maritime history


The Meteren was a small hooker that was built by the Enkhuisen yard that was bound from Texel to the Cape to be used as a packet between Cape Town and Delagoa Bay but was wrecked between the Oliphants river and Elands Bay / Verloren Valei after dragging her anchors. According to other sources, she was lost North of the Oliphants River.

During this ill-fated voyage, 6 of the Meteren’s crew of 29 died of scurvy. Eventually, only 10 of the crew were still able to work, so the vessel anchored in a calm area close to the coast North of the mouth of the Oliphants River. At this time, a swell set in and she dragged her anchors. This caused the Meteren to be cast ashore and get completely wrecked.

The remaining crew managed to get to shore, except for 5 that drowned. Then the 8 crew members who could walk wandered about for 25 days before being found. The remaining 9 are believed to have died of starvation or thirst.


MasterWillem van Turenhout
People on board29
Tonnage190 ton (95 last)


Wreck material was discovered by diamond divers and handed in to the National Monuments Council. There are also reports that two small bronze swivel guns were recovered from the beach in recent years.

Further artefacts are reported to have been removed from the site in June 2001. Material consisted of a bronze swivel gun (badly abraded), approximately 25 kg of lead sheeting with diamond-shaped nail holes, a decorated pewter knife, and Dutch "Klompie" bricks.


  • DAS 2547.2.
  • NA-, Lijst van alle zoodanige Schepen in soorten als bij de Generale Oostindische Compagnie zijn gemaekt oft gekocht als gehuurt alsmede waer oft de zelfde zijn agter gebleven ofte verongelukt als genoomen en verbrand, vermist of.
  • SAHRA Database.
  • Lesa la Grange, Martijn Manders, Briege Williams, John Gribble and Leon Derksen (2024).
    Dutch Shipwrecks in South African Waters: A Brief History of Sites, Stores and Archives [Unpublished].
  • Engel Hoogerheyden.
    Scheepsportret van driemasthoeker.

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