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This magnificent replica longboat was constructed in 2002 and graces the waters in front of the WA Museum Geraldton.
The boat is a replica of the one used in the aftermath of the Batavia tragedy in 1629.
On the 4th of June 1629 a ship's longboat sailed among the rocks and reefs of a small group of coral islands on the eastern fringes of the Indian Ocean. She was launched into the surf from the deck of a Dutch East India ship, and she spent the day ferrying crew and passengers ashore.
It was the austral winter and the weather was stormy, but despite that by nightfall almost 180 people had been landed on a tiny island. There they spent a miserable cold wet night. The islands were in the Abrolhos Archipelago, the ship was the Batavia, and she was wrecked.
The Dutch East India Company ship Batavia ran aground at the Abrolhos and her survivors made it to land only to face a bloody mutiny in which 125 men, women and children were killed. Before the mutiny erupted, a small band of survivors set off in a longboat for Batavia (today’s Jakarta) to organise a rescue. They made it to Batavia in the tiny boat and returned months later, only to learn of the horrific mutiny that had occurred in their absence.