Sea Breezes Shop Header



An Officer’s Account

by Mathieu J Oosterwijk

Early 1970, Holland America Line (HAL) heralded the company’s re-structuring and re-orientation after onehundred years of shipping passengers and cargo from Rotterdam to New York and back. The board of directors showed the fullest confidence in the new opportunities that cruise shipping would offer. This resulted in the 1970 order for a new ship to start making exclusive cruises. At her launch she received the name Prinsendam. After delivery, HAL sent the stylish ship to Singapore. Soon she fell into a routine of summer trips in the cold waters of Alaska and winter trips in the warm waters around Java. On 4 October 1980, Prinsendam sailed in the Gulf of Alaska off Cape Spencer, heading for Singapore. In the middle of the night, a fire broke out. Captain Wabeke ordered everybody into the lifeboats. All were rescued by a supertanker and US-Coastguard cutters and helicopters. A week later, the tire-gutted ship sank towards an ice-cold depth of 9,843 feet. This book tells the first-hand story of the disaster, written by the man who was second officer of Prinsendam at the time. He finally breaks silence and describes in full detail all that really transpired. His account puts an end to all rumours and false narratives that have been circulating.

Number of copies

Book Author

Mathieu J Oosterwijk


General Interest