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Shipwrecks of Buffalo City: SS King Cadwallon


The 5,000-ton Britishcollier, the King Cadwallon, collided with rocks off the Esplanade on the 11th September 1929.


The coal carrier - built in Hong Kong in 1920 - had caught alight more than a month earlier, approximately 11 kilometres off Durban shortly after leaving for Adelaide, Australia, and had been abandoned.


She continued drifting for 41 days before in total before finally succumbing to the unforgiving East London coastline.


Captained by A.W. Wheeler, the King Cadwallon was carrying a cargo of coal bound for Adelaide when she caught fire. After drifting down the coast, she was towed into the East London harbour on 20 August. However, a gale ran her out and onto the rocks on 11 September.


Dive Site


The wreck of the SS King Cadwallon is a popular East London dive site.


Diving depths range from 5m to 8m, with visibility of between 5m adn 10m. The site features a large variety of tropical marine species.

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