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Research into 1647 shipwreck on Blouberg’s shores continue

Bruno Werz is 95% sure that he's located a sunken ship that's been lost for centuries.

An excavator pictured at Bloubergstrand. Maritime archeologist and historian Bruno Werz says he is 95% sure that they have found South Africa’s most significant shipwreck, The Haarlem, on Blouberg's shores. Picture: AIMURE/Bruno Werz

CAPE TOWN - A maritime archaeologist is continuing research into what he believes is a groundbreaking discovery.

Bruno Werz is 95% sure that he's located a sunken ship that's been lost for centuries.

The Haarlem ran aground in 1647. Its crew was left stranded in the Blouberg area. They set up a makeshift camp that led to the establishment of a refreshment station for passing ships.

In 1989, Werz started hitting the beach to track down the wreck.

“We can only be 100% sure once we excavate the wreck. They left 19 iron cannons and four iron anchors behind. If we find a shipwreck with those items, then we will be able to say for certain.”

Werz said the discovery came from extensive collaboration with a team of experts.

“We had people from various backgrounds. It was a diverse team. It’s been a great pleasure to work with the team.”

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