Hyderabad: A photo reportedly of a 282-year-old East India Trading Company ship is circulating on social media. According to the post, the ship has returned to London for the first time since 1787.
Below is a view of the viral post on Facebook:
The claim is misleading.
NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found the same photo on the stock photo website Shutterstock. It said the photo shows a Swedish ship named 'Gotheborg' sailing on river Thames in London. The image is credited to Ray Tang and is dated 19 May 2007. According to the description, it is a full-scale replica of an 18th century East India merchantman and is the only ship of its kind in the world.
A report by BBC from May 2007 also carried the same image and reported that the ship that sailed along the Thames in 2007 was modelled on the original 18th-century Swedish ship, The Gothenburg. The work on recreating the ship began in 2002, using traditional materials and craftsmanship employed during the 18th century.
According to the Gothenburg website, the Swedish East India Company launched the East Indiaman Gotheborg in 1738. On 12 September 1745, the ship crashed and sank when it struck an underwater rock near the home harbor of Gothenburg. Later, replica ships were made, namely Gotheborg II and Gotheborg III. The viral image shows the replica ship Gotheborg III that started functioning in 2005.
Hence, we can conclude that since the original ship sank decades ago, the viral image does not show the original 282-year-old East India Trading Company ship. It is a replica of the old ship. Thus, the claim is misleading.