A 72-year-old shipwreck, which once belonged to Paul Kruger’s grandson, was relocated to City of Cape Town-owned land near Lagoon Beach Hotel last week.
It took seven hours to relocate the 21-ton Commodore II, which sank off Milnerton beach in 1946, from the Diep River in Milnerton.
Newly appointed mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Felicity Purchase, said the relocation will ensure the safety of members of the public.
She said it formed part of a project to restore the historic Milnerton Wooden Bridge, which was declared a national monument in 1987.
“This mission really had two purposes: firstly, to ensure the safety of the public who are using the river while they are on their boats; and secondly, to relocate important historical evidence,” Purchase said in a statement.
A 130-ton mobile crane was used to move the mammoth shipwreck, measuring 14 metres in length, and 6.9m in width. The entire relocation cost R60,000, Purchase told Business Insider South Africa.
She said members of the public would be able to view the boat at its new location.
The Commodore II was constructed in 1919 in Seattle, United States, and is believed to have featured in the 1935 American blockbuster film Mutiny on the Bounty, with Clark Gable.
She was also used to ferry coal during WW2 and shortly after the grandson of then president Paul Kruger bought the boat and sailed it to Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Once there, the ship was grounded on a mud bank and the damage to the hull took 40 days to repair. The Commodore II also caught fire during this time, but it was quickly extinguished.
On her return to South Africa, disaster struck again when the boat was hit by a heavy storm which left the mast, rigging and sails all severely damaged.
The wreck was uncovered after heavy storms in 2008.
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