The Vergulde Draeck sailed in October 1655 from Holland tothe East Indies, bound for Batavia, what is now Jakarta, with a cargo valued at around fl. 185,000. From the Cape of Good Hope, she had to travel around 5000 miles east before turning north to head for the East Indies. This route, with the sharp left turn near Australia, was known as the Brouwers route. Unfortunately, because navigational tools at the time of led to incorrectly established longitude, Vergulde Draeck sailed too far east and met the Western Australian coast. On the 28th April, 1656, she struck a reef near the Suyd land in Australia. Only 75 of the original 193 men on board made it to the shore.
Seven sailors were sent to Batavia in an open boat in search of help. They reached Batavia after sailing for 41 days, at which point the Dutch authorities sent to ships to retrieve the cargo (which was minted silver along with cargo worth 90,000 euros) and the crew, but the ships did not succeed. Two more expeditions were sent, but both failed to recover any members of the missing crew, although some wreckage wasseen in the region of Fremantle.