South African Shipwrecks & Lighthouses

4 x Lighthouses in South Africa on the Commemorative envelope

The first sea warning system in South Africa was the beacon fire established at Robben island in1657 and referred to in Van Riebeeck’s journal under the date 4 February 1658.

Dangerpoint Lighthouse built was in 1895

Dangerpoint Lighthouse built was in 1895

After more than 20 ships had been wrecked off this treacherous stretch of Cape coastline, Danger Point Lighthouse was built in 1895 in order to alert shipping to the presence of Danger Point reef.

The Birkenhead Horses

The Birkenhead Horses

Various sources mention that between 9 and 30 horses boarded the Birkenhead at Simon’s Bay. When HMS Birkenhead struck the rock off Danger Point, the horses were cut free to give them a fair chance of surviving.

Birkenhead Drill - Women and Children First

Birkenhead Drill - Women and Children First

The sacrifice by the troops who stood fast on deck while the women and children were lowered into one of the only three available lifeboats...

Heroic HMS Birkenhead Sinks

Heroic HMS Birkenhead Sinks

HMS Birkenhead is one of South Africa's most famous shipwrecks.  On a clear night of 26 February 1852, she was wrecked on an uncharted reef off Danger Point...

 

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