The Mysterious Sinking of the Admiral Von Tromp at Saltwick Bay

On the sands of Saltwick Bay stand boats that have been through the worst nightmare of any captain, a shipwreck. Walking alongside the small beach that is famed for its fossils, if you bear right on the beach (facing the sea), after clambering the rocks you will come across the remains of the Von Tromp.

Rewind to October 30th 1976, and take yourself to Scarborough Harbour. The original course was set at Barnacle Bay (40 miles NNE of Scarborough), but the trawler never got to its destination.

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Frankie Taal went to check on his trustworthy seaman John Addison, a man who was more than experienced when it came to steering a boat. Taal had a coffee, and knowing the boat was in good hands he went to sleep, safe in the knowledge that he would be awoken when the crew arrived at their destination. But that didn’t happen…

Admiral Von Tromp at Saltwick Bay nr Whitby
What is left of the Admiral Von Tromp at Saltwick Bay nr Whitby

Instead, Taal was awoken by bumps and felt as though the boat was heeling. A skipper on the crew asked John what the hell he was doing but Addison looked back to the skipper in silence. Frankie tried to save the boat but it was too late, they were heading straight on Black Nabb, on Saltwick Bay.

All attempts were made to investigate what happened to the boat, but it was a mystery that would never be solved. The boat was found 90 degrees of course with no reason as to why. The weather was reported as being fine, the crewmen were sober, and, according to a senior nautical surveyor, if the boat was left to its own devices it would not have gone off course… it appeared the boat had purposely been driven into the rocks.

The only man that could shed light on the horrific and mysterious incident, John Addison, died after drowning during the sinking.

The wreck of the Von Tromp can still be seen today at low tide in Saltwick Bay. Why not take a visit to the shipwreck yourself?

This article has been taken from the website Whitby Uncovered with the author’s permission. You can view the original article here.

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