Wreck off Durban harbour

Discussion in 'Diving, Collecting and Environmental Discussions' started by danimal, 12 Jul 2010.

  1. danimal

    danimal

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    Hey guys

    I recently managed to acquire some diving equipment for myself (yay - no more expensive diving, which means I should be doing it more often!) and so yesterday a few mates and I went on a mission to find the wreck just off the North Pier of the harbour.

    Conditions were absolutely PERFECT in the morning; calm seas, warm water, great vis... I love Durban :)

    Anyway so we swam out along the pier, we knew the rough co-ordinates of the wreck but not exactly where it was lying. When we got near the area we fanned out (there were four of us) each holding onto the buoy line, and swam out parallel to the pier. In a few minutes I saw a big shape looming in the distance, gave a tug on the line and soon we were all exploring the wreck which was quite incredible. It lies in about 6m of water with a 12m drop-off at the stern. The wreck is teeming with life, there is also an electric ray hiding in a corner whose body diameter is close to a meter... I kid you not.

    Had a really great dive and it's not too deep, on another calm day I may well go back there on snorkel and collect some goodies :) Saw several emperor angels, ceaner wrasse, about a zillion goldies, lionfish, stonefish, leaf fish, and some very big crays who are very content to sit there and look at you, almost taunting as just because they know they're in a protected area! lol!

    At the end of the dive we were rather tired and didn't particularly feel like swimming all the way back, so we decided to risk it and walk back along the pier. Before long a Port Authority vehicle came along, we thought 'Oh krap here comes trouble' but the lady just waved and smiled, did a U-turn and left us alone :)

    Now the question... does anyone know anything about this wreck? What is it? How did it sink? Very curious to find out...
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    WOW! That sounds FANTASTIC, Dan! Next I am in Durbs, I would LOVE to join you on a dive on this wreck! I will let you know when I can get to Durbs again!

    And no - unfortunately I have not idea. I will have to have a look at my book on wrecks at home.
     
  4. mnd123

    mnd123

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    Is it the Ovington Court? Sank in 1940
     
  5. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

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    no the ovington is off addington beach, further north. this wreck is about 30m off the harbour wall and looks like a much smaller ship - possibly a tug?
     
  6. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

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    here is the approximate location:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    wow man musta been awesome wheres the pics?
     
  8. mnd123

    mnd123

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    The Odd

    Depth: 7m
    The vessel is relatively in tact with the boilers, mast, bow and stern all visible from the surface. The wreck lies parallel to the beach in Vetches’ harbour. The sea ward side is well preserved but is submerged in sand. This wreck lies at the entrance to Vetches harbour and very close to the new North Pier of the harbour mouth.
     
  9. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

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    haha where's my camera housing for about R10k?
     
  10. mnd123

    mnd123

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    Is that perhaps it?
     
  11. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

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    awesome thank you! where did you get that?
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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  13. mnd123

    mnd123

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  14. vatso

    vatso

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    Just make sure the ski boats don't kill you guys - that's in the path of the Durban Ski boat club.
     
  15. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

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    yeah we heard them passing nearby all the time - made sure to only surface close to the pier, and had a buoy line up as well.
     
  16. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Ah nice one! Thanks Marc!

    I also found this:
    "
    The sinking of the Odd was reported in the Natal Mercury on 23 March 1949 and Wade very kindly typed typed out the article, and another which appeared the following day, and sent it to me.

    The Odd apparently had apparently arrived off Durban at 7:30pm, on 22 March, after a day spent hunting for whales, and had been attempting to enter the harbour when her steering gear jammed. The vessel then swung to the right and ran aground on rocks just north of the north pier breakwater. The surf was apparently pretty heavy that night and things looked bleak for the crew of the Odd. Luckily for the 14-man crew however, a Mr Wardell, of 46 Gower Street, Umbilo, had been fishing off the end of the Point and had the presence of mind to reel in his line and cast it so that it fell across the deck of the stricken vessel.

    The crew then tied a rope to the fishing line and Mr Wardell pulled the rope to shore where he attached it to the railway line, which runs along the pier. The crew were then able to pull themselves hand-over-hand to shore. Large waves pounded the men as they made their way to safrty but all seemed in order until a huge wave swept two crewmen away. The Odd's skipper, Captain Averson, immediately grabbed a rope and dived into the sea, managing to rescue first one and then the other.

    The Natal Mercury of 24 March reported that the Odd had been declared a total loss by her owners, the Union Whaling Company. The article said that the vessel was lying in about 15 feet of water about 20 yards from the breakwater and that only the funnel and mast were visible above the surface. Wade Kidwell tells me that he has dived in the area of the wreck many times and notes that the few remaining pieces will have to be removed later this year when the harbour mouth is widened. He said he hopes that the remains are relocated suitably and I can only echo those sentiments."

    At URL: # Small Craft Harbour - Marina - Durban Point - Page 43 - SkyscraperCity
     
  17. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

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    that's awesome, thanks jacques!
     
  18. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i saw the guys swimming out there and wondered what the hell they were doing untill someone told me about the wreck.. its also on my to do list..
     
  19. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    aaah comon dude 10K when i hot the lotto i will def organise it for u:thumbup:
     
  20. millepora

    millepora

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    I’ve dive it a couple times. The last time I was catching large Lionfish & Batfish with Ushaka Staff. It’s pretty cool but wish it was a larger/more substantial wreck.
     
  21. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

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    cool. one of my mates on the dive with me is a service diver at ushaka, he's looking to get into the collections department as well.
     
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