The Saga of the Anegada Island Shipwrecks

by Tage W. Blytmann

From time to time I have been contributing manuscripts and research material to The Maritime Historical Research Society. Among these are the annotated lists of  shipwrecks on Anegada Island, British Virgin Islands, presented here. While the Society has been involved in a number of activities connected with maritime history over the years, it is probably the underwater shipwreck activities on Anegada that has drawn the greatest interest, especially among individuals familiar with the treacherous reefs associated with that island. I am therefore including a selection of photographs, maps and miscellany illustrating the underwater diving activities; some of the salvaged articles, and a small selection of 17th and 18th century charts of the Virgin Islands and Anegada Island..

Loosely translated from Spanish, Anegada means "the drowned island"; the highest point on the island being only 30 feet above sea level. Given the location of Anegada, close to a major north-south shipping lane, and with extensive reefs extending all around the island and up to about 11 miles seaward towards the southeast, it's no wonder it has claimed so many unwary and unfortunate mariners.

The earliest recorded wreck that I have been able to document was a Spanish vessel wrecked on Anegada in 1523. The most recent wreck included in the list is that of the Spanish steamer IDA wrecked New Years Eve, 1898/99. I have not included any wrecks from the 20th century since most of these can easily be researched, or are already well documented elsewhere. 


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IMPORTANT: If you have any contributions, amendments or corrections to make to the list of Anegada shipwrecks, or if you have any first hand knowledge of any of wrecks described, we would like to hear from you. CONTACT US, or Fax: 1 (360) 697-6253.

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TAGE & CHARLOTTE BLYTMANN, CONTACT US Telefax: (1) (360) 697-6253. copyright , 1998 - 2003