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Africa > Southern Africa > South Africa > Diving in South Africa > Diving the west coast of South Africa > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/MV Gemsbok

Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/MV Gemsbok

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The dive site MV L M Gemsbok is an offshore deep recent wreck in the Sea Point area on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Diving the wreck of the MV Gemsbok


1 MV Gemsbok: S33°52.910' E18°20.315'

This site is in the Robben Island Marine Protected Area since 2019. A permit is required.


The 39.2 x 8.3 m 314 grt single screw buoy tender MV L M Gemsbok built 1965, capsized and sank about 4 km from Green Point Light house on 2nd September 1975 while transferring an anchor chain of a cargo vessel. The chain snagged and the weight of the chain caused the vessel to capsize and sink within minutes. The wreck lies on its starboard side.


Deep dive: Maximum depth on the wreck is about 57 m on the sand, and the top of the port side is about 50 m. Average depth of the site is likely to be about 54 m.


Visibility is unpredictable, and is not necessarily indicated by surface conditions. In December 2019 visibility exceeded 20 m under a 6 m layer of plankton bloom one weekend, and the next weekend it was less than 2 m all the way down, and almost totally dark at the wreck.


The wreck is substantially intact, with the mast still in place. There are a few places where hull plating has wasted sufficiently to break through. Th wreck lies on the starboard side on a fairly flat sand bottom with the deck almost vertical. The propeller is still in place on the shaft and there is a gantry mast and bow gantry still in place A large hatch on the foredeck gives access to part of the interior. The port bow anchor is in the hawsepipe.


Get in[edit]

Access to this site is only possible by boat, usually from Oceana Power Boat Club slipway at Granger Bay.


Marine life[edit]

Marine growth on the wreck is relatively sparse.


Recent steel wreck of buoy and mooring tender vessel in substantially intact condition.



Stay safe[edit]


Cold water. Nitrogen narcosis. Decompression sickness, Breathing gas emergencies. Sea and wind conditions changing during a dive.


Competence in planning and performing technical dives to depths beyond the range of recreational diving. Skill in the use of appropriate equipment and gases for the planned dive. Dives on this site will be decompression dives


Dives on this site should make use of appropriate helium based gas mixes and equipment suitable for the planned profile. Redundancy of gas supply, decompression gases, Backup light, DSMB with reel, redundant buoyancy control, and adequate thermal protection for cold water (dry suits strongly recommended) are necessary. If penetrations are planned, the appropriate equipment must be used.


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This dive guide to MV Gemsbok is a usable article. It has information on location and equipment as well as some complete entries on what to see. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.