M.V. Nolloth Shipwreck

After the Thomas T. Tucker wreck on the Cape Point Shipwreck Trail comes the Nolloth. The Nolloth was wrecked in 1965 with a full load of liquor, and while this has long since been removed, it makes for a good resting point before continuing on the trail.

It’s not often that a shipwreck becomes the cause for much happiness and celebration in the weeks after its sinking, but that’s exactly what happened in the case of the M.V. Nolloth

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One of the most visible wrecks off Cape Point, large parts of this wreck can still be seen on the beach at Olifantsbosch.

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The Nolloth was a 347 ton Dutch coaster which struck Albatross Rock on 30 April 1965.

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The ship was loaded with fine whisky which the captain was wise enough to appreciate, so after the ship struck the rock and began to take on water, he steered it onto the beach in an attempt to save its precious cargo.

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A Wasp helicopter was sent to identify the exact location of the ship, and it was then decided that the helicopters would transport the crew to safety as the ship was being battered by high seas.

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It was the first time in South African maritime rescue history that helicopters were used to save the crew and landed on the beach not yards from where the rusting remains of the ship Thomas. T. Tucker lay.

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Until then, the rescue method was to launch ropes onto the ship and use a pulley to transport the crew onto the shore.

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Her cargo containing liquor and general goods was salvaged and taken to Cape Town by lorry along a specially constructed road along the beach. The Nolloth could not be taken off the rocks, so she was salvaged where she lay.

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The captain’s efforts were not in vain – most of the liquor on board was salvaged, and jealously guarded. But some of it made its way to an occasional lucky local.

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n“In spite of this precaution,” writes Eddie Odden in his book Cape Point, “some of the liquor undoubtedly found its way to various hiding places. For weeks afterwards, parties of fishermen would go down to the Reserve, only to emerge at the main gate several hours later with flushed faces, boisterous laughter, and their fishing gear still quite dry…”

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nCheers to that !

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nSome interesting information about the vessel…

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nTonnage: 347

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nGrt dimensions: 41 x 7.3 x 2.96 m Mn

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Material: steel engine: 1 x 4 Cyl. 2SCSA diesel engine, single shaft, 1 screw, machinery aft

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Armament: Canons – Guns: 1941-1945: 3 x 37 mm AA + 4 x 20 mm AA + 3 x 15 mm AA – n

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Power:240 h.p. (rhp) n

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Speed: 9.5 knots n

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Yard no.: 820 n

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IMO/Off. no.: 525437 n

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Call sign: PGHR

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