The BOS 400 on 28 December 2011

Visible shipwrecks: BOS 400

The BOS 400 on 28 December 2011
The BOS 400 on 28 December 2011

Maori Bay is a tiny bay around the corner from Hout Bay harbour, on the way to Llandudno. It is home to three shipwrecks – the SS Maori, after which it was named, the SS Oakburn (an old wooden wreck), and, since 1994, the MV BOS 400, which ran aground virtually on top of the Oakburn.

Much of the BOS 400 remains above the surface, a spectacular feature that is one of my favourites along the peninsula coastline. It’s not really viewable from land unless you’re quite a serious mountaineer, so I have to wait for the summer diving season to get a look at it each year as we cruise into (or past) Maori Bay on a dive boat.

We first visited Maori Bay in December 2009, and you can see from these pictures that the crane’s helipad and a large section between the helipad and the fore part of the vessel remained intact.

The helipad collapsed into the sea in September 2010. These pictures taken in December 2010 show its disappearance.

The BOS 400 on 16 December 2010
The BOS 400 on 16 December 2010

Our most recent visit was during the wonderful summer Atlantic diving season, on 28 December 2011. Some time during the last winter, the aft section of the BOS 400 also sank into the sea. There are some rusty bits sticking up still, but all that really remains is the front portion of the crane, with its AMERICAN inscription, and the massive boom, which – incredibly – still stands, despite looking very precarious.

The BOS 400 on 28 December 2011
The BOS 400 on 28 December 2011

It saddens me to see this wreck slowly disappearing beneath the waves, but Tony reminded me that each new piece of her that falls into the sea provides more places for us to explore when next we dive there. There will be additional possiblities for wreck penetration once everything has settled on the seabed, as there are some wide passages running almost through the entire fore part of the superstructure.

All that remains of the aft section - December 2011
All that remains of the aft section – December 2011
What is now the back of the BOS 400 after the helipad and aft portion collapsed
What is now the back of the BOS 400 after the helipad and aft portion collapsed

If you’re interested in visible shipwrecks, check out my ebook Cape Town’s Visible Shipwrecks: A Guide for Explorers!

Published by

Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

Leave a Reply