Go Back to Map – Shipwrecks and Lighthouses

At Huisklip lie the remains of the Lyngenfjord, en route from France to Madagascar. She was wrecked on 14 January 1938. The Rademeyer family were camping at their seaside shack at Huisklip and were awakened early by their children shouting to their elders that they must come as the ship had stranded. They could see the mast and funnel sticking up above a rocky promontory. The ship was so close to land that the first man jumped from the rocks to the ship’s deck. The first person ashore from the ship, walking over a plank bridge from the forecastle to the rocks is reputed to have been a smartly dressed French lady clasping her pet cat to her bosom. The wreck was bought by the enterprising Norwegian Captain Pettersen, who owned whalers and a whaling factory, and at one time owned more ships than the South African Government.

The gamble paid off, the ship holding together long enough for him to salvage a large part of her mixed cargo and make a handsome profit. An interesting fact about this wreck is that the ship carried liquor as part of her cargo. Some of this was salvaged quickly and secretly by locals before customs officers arrived on the scene. Speed was essential, so much of the loot was reportedly buried in the bush near the wreck with the intention of retrieving it as soon as the coast was clear. Unfortunately the customs officers remained on duty for some two years and at the end of that time the bush had grown back and all traces and markers had vanished! Despite all efforts very little of the spoil was ever recovered.