Jan Rijp

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Jan Corneliszoon Rijp (ca. 1570 - after 1613) was a semi-successful mariner in the late sixteenth and early seventieth centuries. Rijp is best known for his involvement with the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz in finding a route to the East, avoiding the Spanish and the Portuguese navy in the South.

In May, 1596, Rijp was named captain of the second of two ships commissioned to Barents by Dutch merchants to discover the fabled Northern Sea Route to the Indies. Jacob van Heemskerk captained the first ship, and Barents served as its pilot. After discovering Spitsbergen, the ships encountered pack ice blocking the way. Barents decided to turn east and round the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya, as he had successfully managed once before. When Barents urged Rijp to follow, he refused. Rijp insisted that the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya was far too dangerous.

Barents and his ship continued, in an attempt to round Novaya Zemlya. Barents realized too late the wisdom of Rijp's decision. Barents and his crew became trapped in the ice. Barents himself perished before Rijp, who respected the ferocity of the Arctic, picked up the remainder of Barents’s crew at the Kola Peninsula near Murmansk on his next trip.