The SAS Pietermaritzburg, or PMB as she is more commonly called is a favourite dive amongst Cape Town divers.
She was originally an Algerine class ocean minesweeper called “The HMS Pelorus”, built by Lobnitz of renfrew Scotland and launched on 19 June 1943.
While equipped with minesweeping gear, she was primarily assigned to convoy escort duty in the Atlantic. During the Second World War she led the "D-Day" invasion of Normandy. She was then susequently sold to the South African Navy and continued her services as a training vessel.
The PMB was scuttled on the 12th of November 1994 to make an artificial reef. The wreck lies approximately 400 metres off shore, slightly North of Millers point. She lies in a depth of 22 metres.
The PMB displaced 850 tons and had a crew complement of 85 men. Her armament consisted of a single 4" antiaircraft gun, and four 20 mm guns. She was powered by reciprocating engines generating 2000 shp driving two shafts.
After 12 years on the sea bed she is full of life, unfortunately now due to the winter storms over the years some of the wreck has collapsed and so any form of wreck penetration is not advised but still makes for a fascinating dive!