OFF EAST COAST OF AFRICA
AND SALVAGE ON THE EAST AFRICAN
COAST 1499-2004: NEW BOOK BY KEVIN PATIENCE
coast of East Africa stretches some 4,000 miles from Cape Guardafui in
Somalia to the Mozambique Channel.
is rugged and inhospitable, with few safe anchorages, miles of
treacherous coral reefs and a strong northerly current.
Over the years it has become a ship's graveyard, to the unlucky ones,
and a dire warning to those that ran aground and were subsequently
The earliest recorded casualty is the Portuguese galleon San
Raphael that grounded and burnt at Mtongoni, south of Tanga
the earliest recorded history, seafarers have traded along
this coast and until the late 19th century, Zanzibar was the
centre of a large prosperous empire. After the signing of
the Treaty of Berlin in July 1890, the vast tract of East
Africa ruled by the Sultan of Zanzibar, became British and
German East Africa, now Kenya and Tanzania.
opening up of the two colonies, aided by the completion of
the railway from Mombasa to Lake Victoria and the two lines
from Tanga to Moshi, and Dar es Salaam to Lake Tanganyika,
dramatically increased the volume of shipping along the
coast, and in consequence the casualties.
'Shipwrecks And Salvage On
The East African Coast'.
from the 15th century to the present day, they convey some idea of the
ever present hazards faced by mariners sailing in this part of Africa.
were due to human error and mechanical failure, with others from under
estimating the forces of nature.
records in Australia, Germany, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and the U.K.
as well as the library's of Lloyds Register of Shipping, the Guildhall
and the National Archives in London together with the Hydrographic
Office records at Taunton, the author has discovered the stories of
over 200 merchant and naval ships that came to grief.
publication covers most of the known casualties that were wrecked or
salvaged along the coast from the Kenya/ Somali border to the
Tanzania/ Mozambique border, a distance of 1,400 miles.
inland lakes including Tanganyika and Victoria also had their fair
share of casualties and these are included as are all the tugs from
1896 to date since many played a part in the salvage operations.
author spent over twenty-five years in the diving and salvage business
in the Middle East and East Africa and was involved in some of the
operations described in the book.
dived on and identified many of the other wrecks mentioned, and is
deeply indebted to people from all walks of life, who kindly opened
their diaries and photo albums to find references and illustrations to
some of the more obscure ship's tales and all are acknowledged.
July, 2006. 276 pages, H/Back, over 300 illustrations and three maps.
£ 21 including P&P
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