Europa artefact

Shipwreck treasure

This stunningly intact tureen survived a shipwreck and lay abandoned for nearly 80 years beneath the waves offshore from Cervantes. It was just one item amid a rich collection of china, wine, ale and spirits aboard the Italian three-masted iron barque Europa, which struck a reef offshore from Cervantes in 1897. As water spilled across the ship’s decks, the Europa’s crew of 15 scrambled into lifeboats, abandoning the ship, half sunk, with its rigging and sails fully set. The captain and first mate forged inland to seek help, instructing the rest of the crew to watch over the flailing vessel. The captain returned several days later with help on hand and attempted to salvage the partially-sunk ship and her cargo. But bad weather hampered their efforts and they watched forlorn as the vessel and her 11,000 Australian pounds of cargo slipped beneath the waves. Fast forward 80 years to 1975 and a Cervantes fisherman discovered his craypot ropes had become tangled - not on reef - but on the masts of the long-forgotten Europa lying in her ocean grave. Marine archaeologists rushed to the site and recovered many china plates and other artefacts like this one.

Available at:

Cervantes Historical Society

A rollicking shipwreck and community past

This delightful collection of artefacts tells the story of Cervantes’ rich shipwreck history, its fishing past and the community that rolled up their sleeves and shaped their coastal township through...


8 Weston Street
Cervantes WA 6511

Open Hours

Sat to Sun 10am - 3pm; and other times by calling 0428 522 070

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