In the early hours of the morning on the 26th of February 1852 the HMS Birkenhead struck an unchartered rock off the coast of Danger Point and sank to the depths of the ocean. Of the 643 people on board only 193 survived. The ship was carrying British troops to Algoa Bay and there were also wives and children as well as horses on board. As the soldiers stood on deck the women and children were loaded into the life -boats and so the saying "Women and Children first" made history. This event is commemorated every year on the 26th of February in Gansbaai and so this year we once again remember the tragedy which occurred 164 years ago.
Weather permitting there will be a trip out to the Birkenhead rock (at about 07h00) and then a service at the Danger Point Lighthouse at 11h00. This service is attended by military and other personnel representing the regiments on board in 1852, descendants and members of the public.
If you would like to take the boat-trip or attend the service contact Glenda at the Gansbaai Tourism bureau on 028-384-1439 or 072-291-5564.
Manager: Gansbaai Tourism