BOS 400 Shipwreck – Cape Town, South Africa - Atlas Obscura

BOS 400 Shipwreck

The haunting beauty of this little-visited wreck makes it a true hidden treasure.  


This eerie but magnificent shipwrecked oil rig is hidden off the coast of Sandy Bay near the Hout Bay suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. Not many people know of its existence, or how to get there. It’s quite a trek to get close, but the walk along the coastline is beautiful as you approach the wreck, which adds to the mystery and secrecy of this unique spot. 

The BOS 400 is a French crane barge that ran aground during a storm in 1994. It was being towed by a boat that was not up to the task of tugging such a massive vessel, and the tow rope broke loose, sending the barge into the rocks just south of Sandy Bay. Deemed too damaged and difficult to salvage, it was abandoned and has been rusting there ever since.

After making the trek out to the point, you can explore the remains of the ship on foot if you’re brave enough to jump into the icy Atlantic and wade through the kelpy waters to get on board. Or, if you have your wits about you, sit back and admire its rusty grandeur from the boulders below. 

Know Before You Go

To visit the wreck, you have to park at the Sandy Bay car park and then figure out the path down the coast as you go along, as it is not signposted at all.

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