Although the Produce is undoubtedly Aliwal Shoal’s most famous wreck, the area is also home to another, equally rewarding wreck site – that of the British steamship SS Nebo. Today, the Nebo’s final resting place can be found approximately four kilometres from the Umkomaas river mouth, in 27 metres of water.
The wreck lies upside down and partly covered in sand, and yet her infrastructure is riddled with fascinating caverns and crevices that make her a haven for a wide variety of marine species. The Nebo is about more than her present day residents, however. To dive this wreck is to experience over a century of maritime history first-hand making the Nebo one of the Shoal’s best kept secrets.
Maximum Depth: 27 metres
Minimum Qualification: Adventure Diver
SS Nebo’s Last Voyage
On 29th May 1884, the Nebo was nearing the final stages of a long voyage from Sunderland, England to Durban, South Africa. She was heavily laden with more than 4,500 tons of railway materials, intended for a new bridge being built at nearby Amanzimtoti. However, as she neared the Shoal, the weather worsened, and her heavy load proved disastrous in the increasingly large swells. The Nebo capsized and swiftly sank – and in doing so, allegedly became the third vessel of the same name (and belonging to the same shipping company) to sink on her maiden voyage. Rumours were rife in the aftermath of the Nebo’s demise, including a theory that she had run aground on an uncharted pinnacle – although that pinnacle has never been seen since.