Raised to the surface - 25 May - 7 October 2018
Frisian koff returns to Friesland
In collaboration with the National Maritime Museum in Poland the Frisian Maritime Museum and the Harlingen Municipal Museum Hannemahuis will organise an exhibition this summer about the Frisian koff De Jonge Seerp. This dual exhibition tells the story of skipper Johannes Leenderts and his crew, who left for the Baltic Sea from Harlingen in 1791. In the bay of Gdansk the Frisian koff collided with an English ship. The crew of De Jonge Seerp struggled to safety, but the ship was irretrievably lost.
The wreck of De Jonge Seerp was discovered by divers in 1985 and a large quantity of ship components and household goods have been raised to the surface since then. Personal items have been salvaged too: even the captain’s signet ring was found. It is amazing to see how well these finds have been preserved after over two centuries in the water of the Baltic Sea. They are all tangible memories of the history of Frisian coastal shipping, which was quite extensive in the 17th and 18th centuries.
It is these tangible memories that make this story so special. Often we can no longer link the names of ships and skippers to the wrecks that ended up on the bottom of the sea, but De Jonge Seerp is an exception. With the story of the unfortunate skipper Johannes Leenderts, history really comes to life, and we can even put ourselves literary in his shoes. This can be called unique, to say the least.
The exhibition can be visited in Sneek from 25 May to 7 October and in Harlingen from 25 May to 16 September 2018. In Sneek the focus is on the marine engineering aspects, the role of Baltic Sea shipping and archaeological finds. In Harlingen the skipper, life on board, navigation and the fateful accident are given attention. During the Tall Ships Race, which will finish in Harlingen in August, a sea container will stand on the quay containing a pop-up museum that presents this story in various media.