Department of Defence selling derelict ex-Special Forces vessels


The Department of Defence (DoD) is selling off four unserviceable ex-Special Forces workboats that were used at Langebaan.

According to the tender documents published in August, the four boats are in various stages of decay and bidders are advised to attend the compulsory viewing of the vessels before submitting offers. Removal of the vessels is at the purchaser’s expense.

The vessels (Hagar, Vredenburger, Viking and Helgar) vary in size from 35 to 54 feet and weigh between 8 and 17 tons. Hagar and Viking are moored alongside and could probably be towed away, but Helgar and Vredenburger are in worse shape.

The workboats were built at the Sachal Shipyard in Vredenburg which specialises in ocean-going fishing vessels. Sachal manager Nic Stevens is reported by Boating South Africa as saying the boats could potentially be put back to work: “There are many of our vessels of this age and older operating all over, they could possibly be converted into hand line fishing vessels, crayfish vessels or diamond mining vessels,” he said.

He said the vessels’ deterioration was sad to see. “The Viking was operational about two years ago and looked in a much better state.”

The vessels were attached to the 4 Reconnaissance Commando (4RR) which specialised in amphibious operations.

Bid documents can be found here. Bids close on 7 October.

Boating South Africa also noted there were a couple of drug trafficking vessels that were put up for auction. The 37 metre fishing vessel MV Windward and 28-ton pleasure craft Lukzet were part of a fleet of vessels used in an international drug smuggling network that was bust in March after cocaine worth R580 million was found in 973 blocks inside three compartments inside the MV Windward. The Lukzet was a support vessel that was based at Saldanha. Both vessels were subsequently sold at auction in mid-September.