HISTORICAL INTEREST

M.V. NIGHTHAWK

M.V.Nighthawk was built in 1984 on the Thesen Boatyard site for Mr Frans Fischer of Knysna as a competition fishing boat. At 11 meters in length, she was the largest powerboat on the lagoon with twin Cummings Diesel engines. She passed her sea trials and was used in the Knysna area for about two years before disaster struck at 10.45am on 4th March 1986 en route to a fishing tournament in Mosel Bay. The sea turned nasty and the skipper turned back. Approaching the Heads the sea bar was 'tricky' and the Nighthawk got into difficulty, sinking in 60ft of water.

The NSRI was scrambled and all on board were saved. Her life-ring hangs in the local Knysna station.

The late Roger Clancy was very involved with the boat. He was also hired by the insurers to raise the vessel, so took an interest in the local news covering the accident. He was able to find this report he had saved in a photo album along with a personal photo of the wreck after its salvage, in the boat they called 'JT'. No copies of the local newspaper could be retrieved from the library or the Knysna Plett Herald, having been lost or burned.

At some point this trophy was prepared by The Loss Adjusters & Marine Surveyors, W.G. MONSEN & Assoc. KNYSNA. It was bought at an auction in Mossel Bay by the 'Loggies' from George and put on Gumtree in May 2019 where I found it. It has stinkwood sides and a solid yellowwood base. The prop has been badly mangled and lost one blade. It is marked 18LH22.