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Massive swell rips apart famous Cape Town shipwreck

Bobby Jordan Senior reporter
A large section of Cape Town's Antipolis wreck has broken off and washed onto rocks near the Twelve Apostles Hotel
A large section of Cape Town's Antipolis wreck has broken off and washed onto rocks near the Twelve Apostles Hotel
Image: Supplied

Massive waves on Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard this week blasted apart one of Cape Town’s famous shipwrecks that has sat on the rocks near Oudekraal for 45 years.

The waves, generated by a powerful storm that scraped past the Cape peninsula on Tuesday, broke off a large chunk of the Antipolis, which has been a Cape Town coastal landmark since it washed ashore while under tow in 1977. 

The SA Heritage Resources Agency on Friday cautioned the public not to climb on the wreck or dive near where it washed ashore, close to the Twelve Apostles Hotel. 

“The wreckage is very unstable,” the agency's maritime and underwater cultural heritage division said in a Facebook post.  

The Antipolis was an oil tanker that was stripped by salvors after washing ashore in 1977 while under tow.
The Antipolis was an oil tanker that was stripped by salvors after washing ashore in 1977 while under tow.
Image: Supplied

City of Cape Town maritime manager Gregg Oelofse said the new addition to the shoreline was testimony to the power of the sea. 

“Such incredible power. We wouldn’t have been able to tow that wreck out but the sea just picked it up and put it on the rocks,” Oelofse said, adding that the wreck would settle over time.

“We will leave it as part of our shoreline,” he added.

The Antipolis was under tow to be scrapped in Taiwan when it washed ashore during a storm in July 1977. Salvors removed her top section and left the hull, which became a popular dive site.

TimesLIVE


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