The W. A Scholten was a 2,529 gross ton ship, length 351ft x beam 38.2ft, one funnel, three masts (rigged for sail), iron construction, single screw and a speed of 10 knots. There was accommodation for 50 1st and 600 3rd class passengers. She was built by Robert Napier & Sons, Glasgow and launched for the Holland America Line on 16th February 1874. Her maiden voyage was on the 16th May 1874 when she left Rotterdam for Plymouth and New York.
She continued this service until starting her last voyage when she sailed from Rotterdam on 18th Nov.1887. The following evening (November 19, 1887) there was a thick haze over the sea and the captain of another ship, the Rosa Mary, decided the fog was too think and ordered the ship anchored, about 4 miles east of Dover, and hoped that the mist would lift. Unfortuately the Scholten continued to said on through the mist and crashed into the starboard bow of the Rosa Mary. The Rosa Mary was badly damaged but managed to stay afloat and struggled into Dover Harbour. The Scholten suffered major damage with an 8ft wide hole in her port bow, water flooded into the stricken vessel and twenty minutes after the collision she sank.
Her captain, G.H. Taat, his first officer and 130 passengers and crew were drowned.
Diving: The wreck is mainly upright in a depth of 31m. Plenty of life on the wreck including Bib, edible and Velvet swimming crabs, Tompot Blennies and lobsters. Lots of broken glass and pottery ‘slate pencils’ in one section. A salvage vessel has been working the ship with an airlift in the past and lots of ropes are lying around. The bow has broken off and lying on the starboard side.