History Lesson 101

November 2023

The boiler of the Tug Victoria that operated on the Kowie River in the 1870s can sometimes be seen on East Beach, 1 km from the Kowie River towards Rufane. It’s mostly covered with sand, but is sometimes exposed after rough seas and high tides.

Tug Victoria was mainly used to ferry passengers up and down the river as far as the Mansfield Mill because of her shallow draught. She also towed the sailing ships around port. The story goes that the Captain was owed money by the owner William Cock of the Tug Victoria and he would not pay him, so one morning at 4am the captain steamed the tug out to sea and run it onto the rocks at Eastern beach in revenge. It was assumed that he went to look for diamonds in the Kimberley fields as he was never seen again.

Source: https://www.shipwreckhiking.co.za/info.html