The infamously dangerous 300km coastline between East London and Port Edward known as the Wild Coast has been described by experienced seafarers as South Africa's own Bermuda Triangle; where ships disappear without a trace.
Freak waves which frequent this notorious coast have plunged untold ships to the bottom of the Indian Ocean, or sent them crashing onto the shore. The most famous victim was the SS Waratah, which vanished a hundred years ago, on the 29th July 1909, with all 211 passengers and crew aboard. (See www.wildcoast.com/shipwrecks
for more info.)
The last ship to tragically sink with all her crew was the Indian-registered Cordigilera, which disappeared without a trace on November 13 1996¹ in the vicinity of Port St Johns. Seven months later, on the 9th of July 1997, the Romanian cargo vessel, the Calarasi, perished in similar weather conditions about five nautical miles from the site where the Cordigilera went down. In her case, however, twenty of her 21 crewmen were airlifted to safety from this treacherous Transkei coast.