A few years ago an attempt was made to steal one of the cannons from the bastion next to the tower of fort Beekenburg. The thiefs succeeded in dropping the cannon from that bastion and dragged it to the path. Apparently the cannon was too heavy to go any farther. It is one of the things I tell during the hike over the Caracasbaai peninsula. Also that we consider to return the cannonby means of traditional equipment (pulley and manpower) to the bastion where it originally was. Today the cannon has been placed back on the fort by means of more modern equipment, an army helicopter.
In an attempt to get a good place for taking pictures of this event I went early to the Caracasbaai peninsula. There I was informed that the whole island was closed off for this event. In fact a good measure because you don't want people showing up while a helicopter is overhead. Unfortunate for me but I agreed with the measure. So I went back to the public beach and waited there for the event.
Around 10:30 AM the helicopter arrived and made a short round over the target area. Then it landed out of sight to pick up the hoisting cable. That action made it clear why nobody was allowed on the peninsula because the downwash from the helicopter whirled up a lot of loose stuff from the ground.
After the hoisting cable was attached the helicopter lifted up again and flew slowly backwards in the direction of the fort. There the pilot lowered the chopper to pick up the cannon from the path. With the cannon in tow the helicopter slowly was positioned over the bastion. There were some people on that bastion to help in positioning the cannon in the right place. Apparently the first attempt didn't go as planned because the helicopter once again lifted up. It took some time to stabilize the cannon in the air and then a second attempt was made. This one succeeded and the cannon was placed in the correct position on the bastion. The helicopter ascended and it was clear that the cannon was left behind.
This concluded an historic moment.
- Fort Beekenburg awaiting the return of the stolen cannon Fort Beekenburg awaiting the return of the stolen cannon
- This army helicopter will pick up the stolen cannon and place it back on the fort This army helicopter will pick up the stolen cannon and place it back on the fort
- Look at the effect of the downwash - the fort disappears in the dust Look at the effect of the downwash - the fort disappears in the dust
- The helicopter is picking up the cannon from the path The helicopter is picking up the cannon from the path
- The cannon is attached The cannon is attached
- The cannon is almost over the bastion where it needs to be placed The cannon is almost over the bastion where it needs to be placed
- The cannon is over the bastion The cannon is over the bastion
- And it disappears behind the wall And it disappears behind the wall
- The cannon is returned and the helicopter leaves with an empty cable The cannon is returned and the helicopter leaves with an empty cable