In August 1683, a naval squadron under the command of Lt. Admiral Willem Bastiaensz Schepers was sent to Gothenburg to assist Sweden against Denmark that was supported by France. It was not until October that the squadron dared to enter Oresund. When they arrived in Sweden at Gothenburg the Swedish king and his army had already left. The Dutch fleet had to go back.
On the homeward journey, the squadron on the North Sea was hit by a heavy storm that lasted for days (11-15 November). Many ships ran into difficulties. 9 of the 24 ships were lost: Woerden, Hollandia, Tijdverdrijf, Prins te Paard, Leeuwen, Gouda, Wapen van Monnickendam.
Nothing was heard from the Westfriesland anymore. All persons on board died. (De Jonge, III, p. 19)
In total, this disaster takes the lives of approximately 1,200 people, making it one of the largest disasters in Dutch history.
|Length||170 feet (52 m)|
|Width||43 feet (13 m)|
|Draft||16 feet (5 m)|
- De Jonge, J.C. (1860).
Geschiedenis van het Nederlandsche zeewezen, III. p.19 .
Haarlem, Kruseman, 2e.