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stepping stones of maritime history


In March 1956, MS Admiralengracht was on her way from Antwerp to London, loaded with construction iron, lead and general cargo. On March 15th, the vessel anchored near Zeebrugge in thick fog. Around 2:25 AM, the English steamship Dewsbury collided with her. The first officer of the Admiralengracht was on deck. When he saw the lights of the British vessel, he realised that a collision could not be avoided and waked up the crew members who were sleeping. As he did so, the collision happened. The Admiralengracht immediately started heeling to starboard. All on board, eleven crew and the pilot, were saved and taken on by the Dewsbury, although they were poorly cared for. The survivors disembarked in Vlissingen. The inspector of the Dutch 'Raad voor de Scheepvaart' was surprised that the Dewsbury, which was equipped with radar, had apparently not noticed the Admiralengracht. The captain of the Dewsbury had seen the echo of the Admiralengracht on the radar screen, but thought this was a buoy.


MasterJ. van Hoven
People on board12
Power500 hp
Speed11 knots ~ 13 mph (20 km/h)
Length191 feet (58.2 m)
Width29 feet (8.8 m)
Draft10 feet (3 m)
Beam29 feet (8.8 m)
Tonnage335 ton
Displacement449 ton


Between 1956 and 1960, a large part of the wreck was cleared. During a survey in 1988, parts of the Admiralengracht turned out to be in location.


  • Agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed.
    Admiralengracht MS.
  • Stichting Maritiem-Historische Databank.
    Admiralengracht - ID 70.
  • Dirk Termote en Tomas Termote (2009).
    Schatten en scheepswrakken: boeiende onderwaterarcheologie in de Noordzee.
    z.p., Schuyt.

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