Exploring Wreck Freediving in False Bay, Cape Town
30 March 2023
Apnea Addicts Freediving School
Wrecks in the Deep - Cape Town Freediving
Wreck freediving is an exhilarating activity that allows divers to explore sunken ships and witness history first-hand. False Bay, located in Cape Town, South Africa, is a popular destination for wreck freediving enthusiasts. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the prominent wrecks in False Bay and offer tips for safe and responsible wreck freediving.
False Bay is home to several fascinating shipwrecks, each with its own unique story. One of the most well-known wrecks is the SAS Pietermaritzburg, a former South African Navy frigate that was intentionally sunk in 1994 to create an artificial reef. The wreck lies in approximately 30 meters of water and is home to a variety of marine life, including colorful nudibranchs, schools of fish, and even the occasional octopus.
Wrecks sunk on purpose
Sometimes Wrecks are sunk to the ocean floor on purpose. First they are scuttled, which means to be cleaned of all chemicals and parts that are hazardous to the sea. The ship is then towed to a specific location, sometimes a reef that already exists, or sometimes in order to create a structure for travelling bottomfish to spawn and breed.
Some of our favourite wrecks?
Another popular wreck in False Bay is the MV Rockeater, a Norwegian bulk carrier that sank in 1978 after hitting a reef. The wreck now sits in approximately 32 meters of water and is home to an abundance of marine life, including schools of yellowtail, rays, and even a resident sevengill shark.
The SAS Good Hope, a former South African Navy cruiser, is another prominent wreck in False Bay. The ship was intentionally sunk in 1988 as an artificial reef and now sits in approximately 33 meters of water. While the wreck is not as intact as some of the others in the area, it is still home to an array of marine life, including sea fans, anemones, and colourful soft corals.
While exploring these wrecks can be an incredible experience, it’s important to do so safely and responsibly. Proper training and experience are essential, and divers should always dive with a buddy who is trained in wreck freediving safety. It’s also important to respect the marine life and environment and avoid disturbing any artifacts or historical relics.
Additionally, it’s important to dive within your skill level and only attempt wrecks that are within your depth range. Divers should also be aware of their air consumption and surface regularly to avoid running out of air or experiencing decompression sickness. Wreck freediving in False Bay offers a unique opportunity to explore history and witness marine life in its natural habitat. By following safe and responsible diving practices, divers can enjoy the thrill of exploring these fascinating wrecks while protecting themselves and the environment.
What species live in the Wrecks in Cape Town?
Wrecks often act similar to kelp forests and are a haven for a wide variety of marine life. The structure provides shelter and protection for many different species, while the surrounding waters provide a source of food and nutrients. The marine life found in the wrecks is incredibly diverse, and visitors can expect to encounter a wide range of fascinating creatures.
In the wrecks around Cape Town, there are several species that are particularly abundant. These include species of shark, rock lobster, and various species of fish, such as the barbel and the Red Roman.
Rock lobster, also known as spiny lobster, is another popular species that is commonly found in the kelp forests of Cape Town. They are a type of crustacean that are highly sought after for their meat, which is a delicacy in many parts of the world.
Various species of fish, including the Red Roman and the hottentot, also call the wrecks of Cape Town home. These fish are an important source of food for many of the larger predators in the ecosystem, such as seals and sharks.