One of the best know shipwrecks around Port Elizabeth is that of the Dutch Sailing Amsterdam that ran around close to the mouth of the Swartkops River in 1817. People may not necessarily know much of the wreck, but the fact that Amsterdam Hoek along the banks of the Swartkops is named after the ship helps.
The ship, captained by Hermanus Hofmeijer, hit a fierce storm in 1817 with the wind ripping apart the sails and snapping the masts. After eleven hours of fighting to keep her afloat the battle was lost and the captain decided to run her aground between the Zwartkops and Coega rivers. Only three of the 223 men aboard were lost. At that stage Port Elizabeth didn't exist as a town yet and only consisted of a fort and garrison so the crew were taken to Uitenhage before sailing back to the Netherlands a month later.
The Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld has an excellent exhibit of artifacts and pieces from the ship and any local interested in the history of the Port Elizabeth area would really enjoy the what is on display.