WATCH | US tourist sees hired car sink in Hermanus harbour

The rental car rolled off the jetty, plunging into Hermanus harbour. File photo.
Image: Paul Ash

A US tourist had a bad start to his SA holiday when his rental car rolled off the jetty at Hermanus harbour in the Western Cape and sank to the sea floor.

The unnamed tourist, who had spent the previous day scuba diving with local dive and whale cruise operator Neptune’s Divers and Cruises, had stopped at the harbour to pick up his gear when he forgot to put the handbrake on.

A CCTV video shows him parking the car close to the edge of the jetty. As he walks away, the car slowly rolls forward before plunging into the harbour.

The unnamed tourist, who had spent the previous day scuba diving with local dive and whale cruise operator Neptune’s Divers and Cruises, had stopped at the harbour to pick up his gear when he forgot to put the handbrake on.

A CCTV video shows him parking the car close to the edge of the jetty. As he walks away, the car slowly rolls forward before plunging into the harbour.

Marx Mohr of Neptune’s Divers and Cruises said the tourist’s “entire life” was in the car.

“He was about to start a nine-month trip through Africa so there were laptops, cameras, everything in the car,” he said.

“Everything’s buggered.”

The car, a Hyundai i10, stayed afloat briefly before sinking. It spent half a day at the bottom of the harbour while waiting for the insurance company to give Neptune’s permission to raise it from the deep.

The recovery operation took a mere 45 minutes, using the harbour’s only dockside crane.

“It sank right beneath the crane,” Mohr noted.

In the years that Neptune’s has operated from the little Western Cape fishing harbour, Mohr has help to retrieve at least two other vehicles from watery graves.

The harbour’s steep, weed-covered slipway is a well-known hazard to local recreational fishermen who launch their boats there.

This is the first time a car has rolled off the jetty, however.

Mohr said the tourist had returned to Cape Town and that the company had heard nothing from him since.

by Paul Ash

 

 

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