Commemorating the HMS Birkenhead 1852

166 years ago the HMS Birkenhead struck a rock about 5 kilometres off the coast from Kleinbaai. The Birkenhead Drill of “women and children first” was coined that night. They soon found out that only 3 of the 9 lifeboats were operational and less than a third of the passengers survived. Today the Gansbaai community still commemorate the lives lost through a ceremony seeing visitors going out to sea and releasing wreaths on the spot where the Birkenhead was struck. This was followed by a talk about the Birkenhead and then a service at the Danger Point Lighthouse that was completed 34 years after the sinking of the boat which is 1 of 140 shipwrecks on the coast between Gansbaai and Cape Infanta.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s