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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/RMS Athens

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The dive site RMS Athens is an inshore historical wreck in the Green Point area on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Understand

Position

S33°53.85’ E018°24.57’ (approximately)


This site is not in a Marine Protected Area (2009). A permit is not required.

Name

The "Royal Mail Ship Athens" was an iron steam screw barque of 739 tons, built in 1856 by Denny of Dumbarton and operated by the Union shipping company. It was wrecked between Mouille Point and Green Point on 17 May, 1865 at night after the boiler fires were extinguished by heavy seas during a north-west gale while trying to steam out of Table Bay. The ship had been lying at anchor while preparing for a voyage to Mauritius. The site can be identified by the remains of the engine-block, which is visible abive the water. The Piscataqua was wrecked at the same place.

Depth

Maximum depth is about 7m, average about 5m


Topography

Rocks form ridges and gullies.

Geology: Precambrian sedimentary rocks, probably of the Tygerberg formation of the Malmesbury series.

Conditions

The surge can be quite strong



Get in

This site can be accessed from a boat or from shore. The site is about 1km from the Oceana Power Boat Club slipway at Granger Bay.

Follow Beach Road from Sea Point to Mouille Point past the Green Point lighthouse. Pass Fritz Sonnenberg Road on the right and look for the car park on the left. The wreck lies a little further west. Its engine block can be seen approximately 75m out to sea. It is easiest to approach by way of the parallel gullies leading to the site


See

Marine life

Features

Iron wreck of historical interest. Other wrecks in the vicinity include the Piscataqua, an American ship of 890 tons, wrecked here on 19 July 1865.

Photography

Suggested Routes

No particular route recommended.

Stay safe

Hazards

Site specific hazards not known.

Skills

No special skills recommended.

Equipment

No special equipment recommended

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