600 meters away of the old harbour of Hurghada in a depth of 30 meter lies a reminder of the conflict between Israel and Egypt. In 1970 the 58 meter long vessel Minya was bombed to the grounds. Diving here you can see the massive impact of the bombing and surprisingly no human got harmed. If you see her on the ground it is quite hard to imagine that everybody on board survived the attack.
In 1991 one of the last victims of the Red Sea went down. There is a long a discussion, whether diving should be allowed due to respect of the dead. Today the Salem Express is another highlight not to be missed when you are a fan of heavy metal in the Red Sea. Between 12 and 30 meters it is easy accessible for any dive level and it is sad to report that a lot of plunder was going on over there. Marine life took over quite quickly and so she has been integrated into the Red Sea. Diving on a wreck should be about curiosity but also respect, like when visiting a cemetery..
Another strange story happened in 1901 when the Numidia hit Big Brother Island. Why strange? well there is a wide, open sea and nothing but two islands in the very middle of it and somehow it slipped the attention of the whole crew and they hit it exactly at the very tip… Diving at the brother islands is without any discussions some of the best diving in the Red Sea. Between 8 and 90 meters it lies at its last stop, so also worth to do a technical dive over there. Due to the formerly wooden deck it is today very easy to enter her, but again with precaution. She is well exposed to the current so it is also reserved for experienced divers.
In a big storm in september 1957 a captain decided to ignore all warnings and bring the Aidato Big Brother. Back then she was a supply ship for the Egyptian Army. The captain tried to moore her on the south east cost of Big Brother. The storm took her against the reef and she began to sink rather quickly. She looks like somebody put her down like that on purpose. If it wouldn’t be for the hole from the impact with the reef she is in very good condition. A lot of corals and exposed to currents, like all of the dives at brother island.
92 kilometres north of Port Sudan there is the Toyota Wreck, or Blue Belt. Her reason for going down is that the crew tried to sneak her through the gap of Sha’ab Suedi Reef at Fasima Suedi… Why they tried is connected to a lot of rumours, mainly that there was smuggling going on. She was to big for the gap and so she went on the ground, There was a lot of effort put into to rescue her, but evidently, she went down. Interesting on this dive is, that a lot of cars are scattered around the wreck fully overgrown which is the spectacular part of the dive. She herself offers a nice swim through starting at 36 meters.
Right off Port Sudan is one of the best wreck dives in the world, the Umbria. She was sunk in 1937 by her own crew, because she was held by the British in Port Sudan, after her motherland Italy was declaring war. She had delicate loading and nobody had any evidence against her and her crew, so they put her down. Lying on her port side between 5 and 36 meters she is accessible for all dive levels. She is in very good condition and the fish life is astonishing. All of the bombs are still nicely stacked and in one of these easy accessible holds there are three Fiat Laguna’s in very good condition.
When going on a wreck dive please keep in mind, that every vessel has a history. Most of them were tragic and did kill a lot of sailors. Give them respect when visiting their final destination far away from home, and please let them rest in peace.
Take only memories, leave bubbles and kill time!