Good Hope (Goede Hoop)

The Goede Hoop and Witte Valk, two rescue ships in 1656, searched for the survivors but could only find a few wrecked tents. 

The crew of the Goede Hoop went inland but three got lost. A longboat with eight sailors aboard made their way to shore to look for them but were also never seen again. Their boat was found smashed on the rocks. The 78,600,  gold guilders, off the Vergulde Drack, were also lost until 1963, when skindivers found gold coins and fragments of a wreck near the site of the Vergulden Draeck, off the coast at Ledge Point. 

The Search for the Vergulde Draeck

Almost immediately after hearing the news of the wrecking from Abraham Leeman, the Commander of the Council of the VOC dispatched the yacht Goede Hope and the flute Witte Valk to the Southland to search for the wreck and survivors. Both ships failed miserably.

The Witte Valk could not approach land due to furious storms and rough seas. The Goede Hoop was more persistent and managed to land a search party at the appropriate latitude. Three members of the party got lost in the bush whilst going inland and were never seen again. Subsequently, a longboat with 8 searchers was smashed on inshore reefs by pounding surf and were also never seen again. The Goede Hoop returned to Batavia soon after this event leaving the 11 men, possibly stranded and marooned, having found no trace of the Vergulde Draeck or its survivors. She reached Batavia on 14 October 1656.

In April 1657 another vessel, the flute Vink, sailed from the Cape to Batavia with instructions to call at the Southland and search for survivors. Once again there was no success, primarily due to bad weather and high seas. The Vink reached Batavia on 27 June 1657.

The experiences of the rescue ships with inclement weather along the coast of the Southland, convinced Governor-General Maetsuijker (see picture right) in Batavia, that June and July were not the best months for rescue missions. Still concerned about the fate of the survivors, the next expedition was mounted during the summer.


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