Naval battle rages over the undersea remains of the good ship Pietermaritzburg.
There’s something strangely comforting about the fact that there’s a Ship Society of South Africa – a group of enthusiasts who get together regularly to listen to speakers or watch DVDs. But equally there is discomfiture in the fact that two organs of state recently tried to interfere with this harmless little society’s activities by dictating who it could invite to speak at its meetings.
Earlier this year the society decided to ask one of its members, marine salvor Gary Mills, to give a talk. The idea was that he would discuss the work he’d been involved in during 2013 – the raising of the bridge of the SAS Pietermaritzburg. As usual, invitations were sent out but in this case there were some unusual replies.