CSAC does Red Sea – Egypt

DIVERS FROM CHESHAM SUB AQUA CLUB…

… have just returned from spending a week touring the wrecks & reefs of the Northern Red Sea.  Living onboard the 39m motor yacht Blue Melody, they visited 11 dive sites over 6 days including the marine conservation of Ras Mohammed with it’s stunning fish & corals, & several fascinating wrecks including one of the most iconic wreck dives in the world, the SS Thistlegorm.

DSC_6989Tragically sunk in WW2 she was bombed by German planes on a mission to destroy the Queen Mary.  Failing to locate their intended target, they dropped their bombs on the only other large vessel they could find, the Thistlegorm, sitting at anchor in the Straits of Gubal.  One of the shells landed in a hold full of ammunition causing such a huge explosion that 2 steam locomotives tied on deck were blown clear of the ship (rumour has it that a 3rd locomotive has been located some 120m from the wreck).  She settled with her propeller at 27m, and the bow just 15m below the surface, well within the range of most recreational scuba divers.  Her wartime cargo can still be seen, her holds packed with motorbikes, trucks, guns & other supplies, all stacked up as it was loaded back in 1941.  “It is important to visit this wreck with a huge amount of respect”, said one of the divers.  “Nine souls were lost that fateful night & one should be mindful of that.  However, happily not all ships sink with lose of life, & one thing all wrecks do have in common is that, once they are on the sea bed, they begin another chapter, as artificial reefs attracting life & evolving into mini ecosystems.”

Divers resurface from SS Thistlegorm

Motorbike inside SS Thistlegorm

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