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Wreckage Of 17th-Century Ship Discovered Off Dutch Coast

July 22, 1985

TEXEL, Netherlands (AP) _ Amateur scuba divers said Monday they have discovered the wreckage of a 17th-century man-of-war off the coast of this northern Dutch island.

Neither the name nor the nationality of the ship has been determined yet, said Cees Eelman, the leader of the group.

The remains of the ship’s 130-foot hull contained a bronze cannon, said Eelman, who said such weapons are extremely rare because they were expensive 300 years ago.

The cannon bore an inscription mentioning the year 1638, he said.

The ship’s remains were found last week at a depth of 23 feet, about a mile off the island’s coast, Eelman said. The wreck was uncovered because of extensive dredging works in the area.

The bronze cannon is to be retrieved later this year with a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Culture, according to Eelman.

The island of Texel is opposite the Dutch port of Den Helder, the departure point for most Dutch ships sailing to the East Indies, beginning in the 16th century onwards.

The Marsdiep Strait, which separates Texel from the Dutch mainland, is notorious for its sudden changes of weather and current, as well as its dangerous shoals.

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