There are over a thousand known shipwrecks off the coast of South Africa including SS Maori. We have legendary treasure galleons and fine passenger ships that went to their graves within sight of hope. We have a wild, windswept oceanic climate where the mighty Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet under the watchful eye of a rugged lighthouse.
Cape Point Lighthouse Watching over
The SS Maori dive site is a popular location off the peaceful seaside village of Llandudno, a short drive along the coast from Cape Town with many pleasant places to stay. She was a steam vessel belonging to the Shaw Saville Line, a reputable cargo company that still believed in auxiliary sails. One stormy night in August 1909 powerful winds and tumultuous waves drove her onto jagged rocks. The proud ship did not stand a chance when tragedy struck.
SS Maori in Her Prime
Everything conspired against the 32-strong crew, as ocean rollers repeatedly drove their ship up against a formidable rocky cliff. It was winter and it was cold. Even if they had survived the coast was rocky and remote, and no help would have come to them. Spare a thought for brave seafarers gone to their grave with the flywheel spinning unattended.
The SS Maori Dive Site
Their watery grave is only accessible by small boat from Hout Bay Harbour, a working small craft port. Many features are still intact including the mighty triple steam expansion engine towering high above the hull with connecting rods still showing. Diving depth is variable depending on the swells. The top of the engine is 6 meters down with a maximum dive depth of 21 meters.