|Seli 1 off Blouberg beach
The Cape coast is notorious for washing ships ashore and the Seli 1 is yet another casualty. She went aground on 18th September 2009. You can see in the photo she lies just off Blouberg beach. What tends to happen with wrecks is the crew and insurers abandon them and they become our problem. The coal cargo, which was bound for Europe was, thankfully, safely removed. As was the crude oil fuel. The ship is slowly being broken up as, I’m sure you will agree, it is a bit of an eyesore on our beautiful beach.
The causes of wrecks off our coastline are combination of weather, mechanical problems and insufficient knowledge of our local coastline. If you are into mysteries of the deep, you might be interested in the killer, superimposed or rogue wave phenomenon that exists off the east coast of South Africa. Ships vanish, sometimes never to be seen again. Google – Death Waves – and – Rogue Waves – to find out more.
We have a lovely chart which was purchased at the Bredasdorp Maritime Museum, which shows the locations of 379 marine casualties in Southern African waters that occurred between 1914 and 1945. Make a point of visiting the museum if you are in the area. See the link for Bredasdorp shipwreck museum for more. And for wiki’s more recent list of wrecks click Wiki list of shipwrecks in Southern Africa. I wrote about how the wreck of the HMS Athens ended up in Mouille Point in this post – RMS Athens wreck. If you are driving our coastlines and keep an eye open, you are highly likely to spot a wreck or three.