The F54.3 De Jonge Seerp (W-27) wreck constitutes the remains of the Frisian „kuff” which sank in the Gulf of Gdańsk in 1791. The site covers the area of more than 2000 m2 and includes the bottom part of the ship’s structure and the so-called concentration 1 located ca. 40 meters to the south-east, constituting the remains of the ship’s stern and superstructure. The structure includes 26-meter long keel, floor timbers, staves of planking laid edge-to-edge, panelling staves, and keelson with the seat of mast. On site we also discovered a 7-meter hinged rudder which was recovered, and now it can be seen in the Shipwreck Conservation Centre (CKWS) in Tczew.
The head of hinged rudder of the W-27 wreck is decorated with a three-leaf clover, which is characteristic for the Dutch ships between the 17th and 19th century. Moreover, the relations with the Dutch are also confirmed by brass snuff box with inscription in Dutch, 25 coins from the Republic of the United Provinces, and kaolin clay pipes manufactured in Gouda.
The wreck was discovered in August 1985 by the employees of the Central Maritime Museum in Gdańsk and the Maritime Office in Gdańsk (GUM) while searching for bottom obstacles at the anchorage and roadstead of the Gulf of Gdańsk. The works involved 300-meter trawl-net fastened to two GUM vessels.
The W-27 wreck is located ca. 9 km (about 5 nautical miles) to the north of Wyspa Sobieszewska at a depth of 26 meters.
The archaeological research of the wreck was conducted between 1985 and 1993, in 2000, 2001 and between 2004 and 2006. In that time, the entire area of the site was explored as well as the surrounding area. The underwater inventory of the wreck was performed in June 2015.
The dendrochronological analysis of the wood samples collected from the wreck proved that the ship had been built in the second half of the 18th century.
In 2010, the F54.3 (W-27) wreck was identified as the remains of the 18th century Frisian merchant ship, De Jonge Seerp which sank on 11 June 1791 at the Gulf of Gdańsk after colliding with English ship, The Recovery. De Jonge Seerp’s shipmaster was Johannes Leenderts.
During the exploration of the W-27 wreck an oval brass punch was found. On the impress we can see letters "JL” in mirror image, which shall be identified as initials of shipmaster, Johannes Leenderts. Moreover, the impress in sealing wax with the coat of arms of Harlingen city was discovered as well as a plank with partially erased inscription „Jonge Seerp”, which confirmed previous assumptions as for the identification of the W-27 wreck as the remains of the Dutch kuff, De Jonge Seerp.
More than 10 000 objects were recovered from the wreck; usually in poor condition. They included, e.g.: octant of London company „Urings”, a telescope and a part of telescope of London company „T. Ripley”, ceramic and metal tableware, collection of personal belongings, two brass swivel guns, silver and copper coins and Dutch lead tokens. On one of the tin bowls a punch of pewterer, Jan Van Der Pool was identified; he had a workshop in Rotterdam in 1760s.
Bednarz T., „De Jonge Seerp”. Badania historyczno - archeologiczne niderlandzkiego statku z końca XVIII wieku, Gdańsk 2015.
The "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum" website (www.wsw.nmm.pl) has been created under the "Gulf of Gdańsk Shipwreck Virtual Open-Air Museum. Recording and Inventory of Underwater Archaeological Heritage" scientific research project, co-financed with the funds from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.