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Divers discover Wreck of 17th-Century Dutch Warship




Divers have discovered the wreck of a 17th-century Dutch warship off the coast of the Caribbean island of Tobago. Marine archaeologists think the vessel could be the Huis de Kreuningen, which was lost during a fierce fight between Dutch and French colonists in the 17th Century.

On March 3, 1677, the French Navy launched an attack against the Dutch in Tobago’s Rockley Bay. European settlers coveted Tobago for its strategic location; in fact, the island changed hands more than 30 times after Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World.

The abbreviated story of this particular battle is, “Everybody dies, and every ship sinks,” according to Kroum Batchvarov, an assistant professor of maritime archaeology at the University of Connecticut. Approximately 2,000 people were killed and up to 14 ships went down during the skirmish. However until now, none of those vessels had been recovered.

Back in March, Batchvarov went searching for wrecks in Rockley Bay. Through remote sensing and historical accounts, his team identified a spot where shipwrecks from the battle might have settled on the bottom of the bay. One day, while the rest of his colleagues were sorting out an issue with their GPS systems, Batchvarov and another diver decided to explore under the surface.

“Quite literally, the first thing we saw at the bottom was a cannon,” Batchvarov told a small audience at the Explorers Club headquarters yesterday (Nov. 3).

During that initial 20-minute dive, the researchers found at least seven cast-iron cannons, some of them large, 18-pounder guns.

“This was one of the most interesting experiences of my life in archaeology, and I have been in this field for about 17 years,” said Batchvarov.

None of the sunken ship’s timbers have been uncovered yet from the jumbled wreckage, but divers did find relics from life aboard a military vessel, including 72 clay smoking pipes, an array of dining utensils and burned bricks from the ship’s galley. They also found a beer jug with three engravings of military generals from antiquity: Joshua, David and Alexander the Great.

Several clues led the team to conclude they were dealing with a Dutch warship from the 17th century. For example, many of the pipes had the mark of a manufacturer that operated in Amsterdam from the 1650s to the 1680s, Batchvarov said.

Because of the size of the cannons found at the site, the archaeologists suspect the wreck could be the 130-foot-long (40 meters), 56-gun warship Huis de Kreuningen. Only one other Dutch vessel, the flagship Bescherming, could have supported such large guns, but it survived the battle, Batchvarov said.

The French boarded the Huis de Kreuningen during the Battle of Tobago. To avoid capture, the Dutch captain, Roemer Vlacq, blew up the ship. The blaze spread and destroyed the French flagship Glorieux. Despite their major losses, the Dutch, led by commodore Jacob Binckes, were ultimately successful in holding back the French (Years earlier, Binckes had re-captured New York for the Dutch; the city was, however, returned to England shortly after).

Without proper conservation facilities nearby, the artifacts Batchvarov and his colleagues discovered had to be reburied underwater. But the project has just been awarded a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation so that the artifacts can be conserved and displayed in Trinidad and Tobago. Batchvarov and his colleagues plan to return to the site next year; their main goal is to establish the extent of the wreck.




WIN an EcoScribe ‘Plastic Free’ Stationary Gift Set!!!



For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with EcoScribe to give away a ‘Plastic Free’ Stationery Gift Set as a prize!

Enjoy EcoScribe’s ‘100% plastic free’ stationery gift set which contains 1 A5 kraft cover notebook & 10 kraft paper pens. Once used, it is 100% recyclable – a fantastic, sustainable alternative to everyday plastic stationery!

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on (which you can read here), we announced the launch of our brand new website, a fantastic new online resource full of scuba diving news, blogs, travel features and deals, plus outstanding underwater photography exclusively about the dive destinations in all corners of the UK and Ireland.

But how many kilometres of coastline do we write that the UK has in the post?

Is it:

A) 22,000km

B) 23,000km

C) 24,000km

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

EcoScribe 'Plastic Free' Stationary Gift Set January 2022

  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of EcoScribe and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to When prizes are supplied by third parties, is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 09/03/22. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

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Stories behind the winning images by Nur Tucker – January NUPG meeting (watch video)



The January 2022 NUPG meeting saw Nur Tucker take to the virtual stage. Nur has seen huge success with her underwater photography in recent years, winning several high profile competitions. In this talk she was hugely generous to share just how she got the shots. Nur shared what drives her, her dedication to practicing techniques wherever she can, and some of the innovative ideas she has come up with to create images that stand out from the crowd. You can see more of her work here.

The monthly NUPG competition theme in January was “The End of the Dive” and the winner was John Spencer with this split-shot of a diver getting back onto the boat after a dive in the Menaii Strait.

The next meeting is on Monday the 21st February and sees Scubaverse photo-journalist, Sean Chinn, talk about the images he has taken during the pandemic.

For more information about the Northern Underwater Photography Group visit their website by clicking here.

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Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email

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