The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast. The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region "The Land God Made in Anger", while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as "The Gates of Hell”.
It is one of the most treacherous coastlines in the world due to strong crosscurrents, heavy swells and dense fogs caused by the ice-cold fast-flowing Benguela Current. Rocky reefs and sand dunes that stretch into the sea spell disaster for any vessel that get caught up in the gale-force winds and all-enveloping sea fogs, reducing visibility to virtually nil.
The fishing trawler “Zeila” is one of the many shipwrecks populating the Skeleton Coast. It was sold as scrap metal to an Indian company by Hangana Fishing of Walvis Bay and it got stranded after it came loose from its towing line while on its way to Mumbay. On board were two Indian crew members, who spent a night of hell at sea as the dilapidated ship was tossed into the darkness and left to drift at the mercy of the swirling seas.
Stripped to its shell, the ship offered the men no comfort nor any hope of survival, with their rescue equipment consisting only of a hand held walkie talkie and a life jacket.
At break of dawn the ship went aground and the two men were rescued by a group of fishermen standing on the beach.
Interested in a photo tour through the American Southwest? I can help you with it and make you come back with unique shots.
Image is under Copyright by Peter Boehringer.
Contact me by email if you want to buy or use my photographs.
Yes you can see the anger in the skies, it looks not friendly and you kind of want to stay where you are, no way that you want to be on any ship in this moment and definitely not on this one which has seen its best days a long time ago. Excellent how you worked with the ocean making it smoother and yet keeping it wild enough with not too much cosmetics but leaving it still natural. Really nice the different greens, greys and blues. Perfect shot, the quality is amazing.
Scary story Peter. Thank goodness they were rescued alive. I bet there are more than ship skeletons on that desperate coastline.
The impression we get is that this is far out to sea, although you must have been standing on terra firma. Slowing down the shutter was a good idea to enhance the desperation of this vessel as the waterline appears to be right at the top of the hull. Great stormy colours complete the impression.
Again I refer you to Wilbur Smith as he has written about this coast and the savage sea. I think Savage Seas is a good description of this coastal area. One other thing, you don't want to be in the water along this coast as the Great White shark patrols the coast. I saw in a BBC documentary that the some of the Great whites are a big as Killer Whales, amazing! Scarey story for sure. This image with the long shutter brings the story to life. Beautiful.......!
I like this almost mystical image. Before I read the note, the sharp detail of the ship surrounded by a softly focused sea and sky made me think of a ship captured in arctic ice, a bit like the early polar explorers. Your splendid note quickly replaced that image. HLJ, P
Dramatic moment well underlined by your text.
The long exposure makes us feel the power of the waves, the tossing boat on the reef, already sinking in the ocean.
The shags are happy to have a new place to rest after diving in the sea!