Locals in Cape Town have been warned off visiting the Bos 400 shipwreck at Maori Bay, after the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) reported a series of incidents near the historic site. A group of students from Stellenbosch had to be escorted to safety on Saturday – with one of them suffering a ‘non-fatal drowning incident’.
Cape Town latest: Bos 400 shipwreck causing chaos
The shipwreck has frequently drawn in thrill-seekers over the years, who have freely explored the vessel. The French barge ran aground during a fierce storm 27 years ago, near the same site as the downed SS Oakburn. Since then, people have used the site for activities such as diving and climbing. However, the dangers remain evident:
- – The Bos 400 wreck ran aground in June 1994.
- – Salvage operations were completed shortly after, and posted signage prohibiting the boarding of the wreck.
- – The wreck poses an enormous risk from the corroding and collapsing metal infrastructure.
- – The signage prohibiting boarding of the wreck has also corroded and is no longer visible.
- – Part of the crane and the ‘super-structure’ has collapsed into the sea, with metal debris floating around Maori Bay.
NSRI issue warning for ‘thrill-seekers’
Needless to say, the NSRI aren’t impressed with developments over the weekend – and this latest rescue effort follows a series of incidents that have kept emergency crews busy in the first few weeks of 2021. They are upset with social media influencers, who have promoted the site – and its associated risky activities – via their popular channels:
“The Bos 400 wreck at Maori Bay on the Atlantic Seaboard is a no-go area. Boarding the wreck is prohibited. The wreck poses serious dangers to the public. The NSRI is appealing to the public to avoid the wreck and the surrounding rocks at all costs… To add to the danger, this is an extremely difficult area in which to conduct a rescue operation.”
“Three rescue operations conducted over the past month highlights the increasing danger that the wreck poses to public members who it appears may be drawn to the wreck for recreational purposes that may be encouraged by social media sites. Another rescue operation was launched on Saturday afternoon, 20 February, following reports of a drowning.”
“The NSRI discovered a group of twelve young adults, who we believe are students from Stellenbosch. One member of the party, a young man, had suffered a non-fatal drowning accident and he was suffering from hypothermia. In the past few weeks, a young female and a young male suffered serious injuries after jumping off the Bos 400 crane into the sea.”
— Sea Rescue South Africa (@NSRI) February 21, 2021