Le Dragon Wreck 2012 Project

Project Overview:

During 2012 ADMAT's French archivist and researcher Florence Prudhomme conducted further research on this interesting ship and brave crew. As the archives slowly reveal their secrets, we find further information on the spy which was on board and a new society a "League of Gentlemen" sponsored by the King of France in 1783 to shape the New World. Note Le Dragon was the last French warship lost in the American Revolutionary War and it appears that the Captain and Spy were embroiled with the American battle plans for the Caribbean and the Americas in general. More on these stories when they are available but the more we research into the archives the more we locate documents which in their day would make a great Hollywood film today!

During the 2012 Island Wreck Project we conducted a brief inspection of Le Dragon site to check that all was well.  ADMAT’s maritime archaeological work on this wreck site is being run with the permission of Ministerio de Cultura Oficina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuático (ONPCS).

The weather was not good and the water visibility was terrible. However May Loo lead a team to conduct a metal detector survey of the shore line for concretions and Raimund Krob lead a team on the site to check it out. The visibility was so bad that the ballast pile had to be found by swimming into it. Anyway both operations were successful.

Above: The specially commissioned painting of the sinking of Le Dragon for Pour La Science autumn 2012 edition is shown above. The gallant Captain beached his ship with great skill missing the reefs, to ensure the spy and the secret documents were not captured by the English Admiral Hood's squadron in 1783. When the spy and all his crew had got off the ship the captain then went back on board and deliberately set demolition charges to blow up his corvette as shown in the painting.

Above: The specially commissioned painting of the sinking of Le Dragon for Pour La Science autumn 2012 edition is shown above. The gallant Captain beached his ship with great skill missing the reefs, to ensure the spy and the secret documents were not captured by the English Admiral Hood's squadron in 1783. When the spy and all his crew had got off the ship the captain then went back on board and deliberately set demolition charges to blow up his corvette as shown in the painting.

For the following articles please click on the items below:

Le Dragon UK press release

For the French press release click below

ADMAT-FRANCE Le Dragon press release.

Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle CNRS Press release .

The front cover of the Pour La Science publication containing the article on Le Dragon.

The front cover of the Pour La Science publication containing the article on Le Dragon.