Captain Kidd ship finding confirmed off coast of Dominican Republic – Tours available soon of Pirate Vessel
In the not too distant future, visitors to the Dominican Republic will be able to see for themselves the sunken marvel of the most important pirate ship in American history. An Indiana University specialist team is making fast progress at the Captain Kidd shipwreck project, the Kidd Preserve, in La Romana.
And just recently the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Culture signed a collaborative work agreement with Indiana University, supported by USAID to establish a new National System of Special Protected Areas, with the Captain Kidd Shipwreck being the premiere site, a step that makes the opening of the site to the general public even nearer.
Chief researcher Charles Beeker of Indiana University announced that research at the Captain Kidd shipwreck site and recent analyses of the teak wood ship hull construction found off La Catalina island indicates there are “rabbet seams” that match the 1701 testimony of William Kidd during his New York trial, days prior to his being hanged.
Kidd is on record for then saying “built in Surat [India] the ship is very strong with all seams rabbeted“.
According to Beeker “this type of 17th century ship construction is unique to west India, and no European ships are built in this manner.” He says this proves this is Captain Kidd’s shipwreck, the “Cara Merchant.” He says that “as the only pirate ship ever found in the Caribbean, the new Kidd Preserve will make an excellent sustainable tourism destination for future generations to appreciate the shipwreck and associated biodiversity, only found in the DR.”
The discovery of the Captain Kidd shipwreck, was made in 2007, and Indiana University was invited by the local National Office for Cultural Underwater Heritage (ONPCS) to examine the shipwreck that was resting in less than 10 feet of pristine Caribbean seawater off Catalina Island. They suspected then it could be the 1699 shipwreck of Captain Kidd’s Kidd’s Quedagh Merchant. Their intervention is to protect and preserve the finding.
Since the mid-1990s, Indiana University researchers have conducted underwater and land-based archaeological research in the DR related to the era when the Old World and New World first met.