Confirmation has been received of the Protection Order covering the wreck of the PMB from the Heritage Field officer of the Maritime and Underwater Cultural heritage Unit, South African Heritage Resources Agency.
Extract from the Government gazette of February 1st, 2013:
DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE
DEPARTEMENT VAN KUNS EN KULTUUR
1 February 2013
SOUTH AFRICAN HERITAGE RESOURCES AGENCY
NATIONAL HERITAGE RESOURCES ACT, NO 25 OF 1999
PROVISIONAL PROTECTION AS A NATIONAL HERITAGE RESOURCE
By virtue o f the powers vested in the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in
terms o f section 29(1) of the National Heritage Resources Act, 25 of 1999, SAHRA hereby
provisionally protect the Pietermaritzburg shipwreck site near Millers Point for a period of two
The wreck of the SAS Pietermaritzburg, located off Millers Point near Simons Town, bears
significant historical value in the important role she has played in both South African and World
history. The Algerine class ocean minesweeper then known as the HMS Pelorus and adopted by
Vivien Leigh of Gone with the wind , played a significant role in World War II as she led the
Allied Armada in the D Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. She was also one of the
Allied vessels to first arrive in Singapore after the Japanese surrender in 1945.
In 1947, after the end of World War II, she was sold to the South African Navy and initially
renamed the HMSAS Maritzburg and then later renamed the HMSAS Pietermaritzburg on 21
January 1948. She was used for the training of midshipmen and later refitted to be used as a
dormitory ship in Simon s Town until 1991.
She gave service in times of both peace and war and at the end of her long and distinguished
career a committee was formed and tasked into preserving the PMB, as she was affectionately
known, in order lo save her as a floating museum ship. However, the cost of berthing and
refitting the PMB amounted to too much and the campaign abandoned. On November 19, 1994
the ship came to her final resting place, scuttled o ff of Millers Point near Simon s Town in a
ceremonial fashion by the South African Navy in order to preserve it as an artificial reef site for
marine life and a dive site where people could still go visit this unique vessel and remember the
significant role it played in history.