AL Qamar AL Saudi AL Misr
27.31 180N/33.51 670E
- The remains of the ship’s bow lie on the reef where she ran aground. However, due to the downward slope of the reef to a depth of around 20-meters, the ship has broken apart into several sections which mean she is fairly easy to explore. The stern section and propeller lie in 20-meters of water with the rudder located a short distance away. Access to the engineering space, or engine room, is gained through the aft section of the ship’s superstructure. A section of the superstructure is completely separated from the rest of the wreck and lies atop the ship’s stack in 20-meters on the northern side of the wreck. Really a nice enjoyable non-challenging wreck dive.
- The AL Qamar AL Saudi AL Misr was originally built as the 7,697 GRT Roll On/Roll Off PAX-ferry Trekroner built at Cant. Nav. del Tirreno e Riuniti, Riva Trigoso, Genoa, Italy (Yard No. 281) for Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (translation: The United Steamship Company), Copenhagen, Denmark. The keep was laid in April 1967, she was launched 27 March 1970, and she was completed on 30 March of the same year. With a crew of 67, the ship was capable of carrying 718 passengers and 120 automobiles.
- The ship was 124.85 meters in length and 19.31 meters in beam, powered by twin 12-cylinder B & W 1242-VT2BF-90 diesel engines connected to two shafts for a maximum speed of 21 knots.
- The Trekroner departed Genoa, Italy on 30 April 1970 en route to Copenhagen, arriving on 07 May 1970. Operated from 10 May-31 July 1970 between Copenhagen and Aalborg, Denmark. From 01 August until 31 September, operated on the Copenhagen-Helsingborg-Aalborg route.
- In October 1970, the ship was modified at Anciens Etablissement Groignard S. A. Marseille, France, where additional staterooms were added which reduced the passenger-carrying capability from 718 to 622 passengers.
- On 04 June 1971, the ship was renamed Dana Corona operating from 25 June 1971 until 03 March 1979 between Genoa, Palma, Malaga, and Ibiza/Tunis. Renamed Dana Sirena on 19 November 1979, operating between Ancona Patras, Iraklion, Alexandria until 06 December 1982 when the ship returned to Copenhagen to be decommissioned. On 07 February 1983, the ship was sold to Al Sabah Maritime Services Co., Jeddah, KSA. When the company was incorporated in Landskrona, Scania, Sweden, on25 February 1983, the ship was renamed Al-Qamar Al-Saudi II, after which, the ship departed Landskrona for the Red Sea for service between Suez, Aqaba, Jordan, and Jeddah, KSA. Sometime in 1983, the ship had a collision with the passenger ship M/V Durr in the Red Sea.
- The ship was sold in August 1988 to the Khalid Ali Fouda Shipping Co. (possibly named “Marine Glory Shipping”), Alexandria, Egypt and re-flagged under Panamanian registry. Re-named Al-Qamar Al-Saudi and then renamed again in 1989 as the Al-Qamar Al-Saudi Al-Misr. The ship continued operation between Suez, Aqaba, Jeddah until the time of her loss. The loss of the Al-Qamar Al-Saudi Al-Misr:
- On 18 June 1994 was on the return trip from Jeddah to Suez with 527 passengers and 63 crew on board when late during the evening a boiler explosion occurred which is said to have started a major fuel oil leak in the engine room which ignited. The resulting fire quickly spread throughout the rest of the vessel. A “Mayday” was sent from the ship and various vessels responded to the call for assistance. Lifeboats were lowered and passengers began jumping overboard to escape the spreading fire. The USS Briscoe, a US Navy Destroyer, was the ship nearest to the Al-Misr at 25-miles away, raced to the scene and acted as the On-Scene Command Center during the rescuing of passengers and crew.
- The Al-Qamar Al-Saudi Al-Misr burned throughout the rest of the night and eventually sank the following morning at position 27.31 180N/33.51 670E in 83 meters of water with a total of 50 injuries, 8 confirmed casualties, and 13 missing and later declared dead.
- The AL Arish was originally built as the 4,609 GRT Roll On/Roll Off PAX-ferry EL Tor built at A/S Bergen’s shipbuilding, Bergens, Norway (Yard No. 794) for Misr Edco Sg. Col., Ltd., Alexandria, Egypt. She was launched on 23 September 1980 and completed and delivered 31 March 1981. The ship was 106 meters in length and 17.3 meters in beam, with twin 12-cylinder diesel engines, a bow thruster from close manoeuvring, and 2 shafts for a speed of 19 knots. The ship also had 328 cabins, room for 1025 passengers, and could carry up to 150 automobiles in her car deck. The EL Tor operated between ports in Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the Red Sea from the time of her arrival in 1981 until her mysterious sinking in 2002 (some say 2004).
- In 1991 the ship was renamed EL Tor EL Arish, a name which she kept until being sold to the Sayed Nasr Navigation Line, Cairo, in 1999 and renamed Al Arish.
- The AL Arish‘s final voyage was on a return trip from Jeddah, KSA to Safaga in 2001. During this trip, a fire broke out in the ship’s engine room which caused significant damage. The ship was able to make it back to Safaga where she was anchored and remained until the ship “disappeared” one day. Local stories concerning the ship greatly vary. One day the ship was just gone and most people had assumed the ship had gotten underway and left. One reference used in research states that after a long period of unpaid harbour fees the ship was intentionally scuttled, another reference alludes to an alleged insurance scam.
- This is a complete wreck lying on her port side on the sandy bottom at 37 meters in a relatively protected area, which makes this a good dive in almost all weather conditions. The starboard side of the wreck lies at just 12 meters below the surface, so this is a dive that can be done any certification level. Divers can explore the lifeboat deck, stack and masts, the focus, bow and bow thruster forward, along with the anchor chain, the aft stairwells, stern gate, rudders and propellers. Signs are still posted in many places and there remain various pieces of equipment associated with ships (deck chairs, fire hydrants and hoses, etc.). The wreck has become populated has started to become covered with soft corals and there is abundant marine life surrounding the wreck.
- The Attiki began life as a 2,975 GRT Cargo ship originally named the Masashima Maru built at the Imabari Zosen shipyard, Imabari, Japan. Launched 02 June 1966 and completed later that same year, the ship was 95.3 meters in length and 15.5 meters in beam. Powered by a single diesel and shaft for a top speed of 12 knots. It is unclear who the ship was built for or owned by until the time of her loss. In 1971 the ship was renamed Zougro, and then renamed Attiki in 1974, at which time the ship was owned and operated by Lanathos Cia., Greece.
- Just before midnight on 24 April 1978, while en route to Port Sudan with a cargo of cement, the ship ran aground at Ras Dib approximately 10-12 meters of water. The ship’s holds and engine room flooded with seawater and the ship was abandoned. The ship later caught fire at which time she was declared a total constructive loss.
Explore the wreck
- The wreck lies parallel to shore with the bow just above the water and facing northwards. The ship appears to have been partially salvaged at some point, evidenced by the missing shaft and propeller, as is much of the ship’s upper structure. The remainder of the wreck is fairly spread out and open. The cargo of cement is still in her holds, long since solidified, and parts of the ship’s main engine are recognizable. Plenty of piping and twisted metal lying about as well. The site has been colonised by the standard lionfish, surgeons, soft corals, and numerous nudibranchs which appear larger here than they do at other dive sites.
- The Bacchis was originally built as the 2,494 GRT Cargo Ship Consul Arlt built at Weser Seebeck Schiffwerft, Bremerhaven, Germany, for Preussenlinie Arlt & Co K.G., Bremen, Germany (Managed by Ivers and Arlt). Completed in December of 1950, the ship was 89.3 meters in length, 13.2 meters in beam, with a single triple-expansion engine and single shaft for a speed of 12 knots.
- In 1962 the ship was sold to Ferraro Brothers, Callao, Peru, and renamed Consul.
- Sold again in 1965 to N. Georgacopoulos, Greece, and renamed Evangelos.
- Sold yet again in 1966 to Seamaster’s Sg. Co., Greece (or possibly Cyprus), and renamed Lion of Marathon that same year, renamed Lion of Mykonos in 1969, and then Bacchis in 1975.
- The only information found concerning the ship’s loss is that she was lost on 09 August 1977 27.49.36N/33.39E off of Ashrafi Island. Another source states the ship was lost in 1983. Research ongoing.
- Not much information is available on the history of this ship. The Bakr, sometimes pronounced ‘Bahr”, was a 416 GRT survey vessel built in Kyiv, Russia, possibly at the Leninskaya Kuznitsa shipyard, with a length of 49 meters. She was built for the United Arab Republic General Petroleum Co. for service in the oil fields located in the Gulf of Suez.
- On 14 October 1973, the Bakr was attacked and sunk by missiles fired from Israeli aircraft during the attack to destroy the Egyptian military radar station located at Ras Gharib.
Explore the wreck
- The wreck sits upright on a sandy bottom in 12 meters of water. The hull below the waterline is nearly complete except where she was hit by the Israeli missile that sank her, her superstructure having long since been salvaged. The survey booms are still in place and there are various items of deck equipment to be seen onboard and lying on the bottom around the wreck. The name of the ship is still clearly readable on the bow and stern of the vessel, and the anchor winch is still in place. Access to the interior of the wreck is possible. However, there are numerous snag hazards inside.
- The Hebat Allah was a small cargo ship of 494 GRT built for the Egyptian Government at Breheret Ets., Ingrandes, France in 1985. When launched, she was 44.5 meters in length and 8.5 meters in beam, with diesel engines and a single propeller for a speed of 8 knots.
- The Hebat Allah was intentionally sunk on 07 November 2004 between the Giftun Island and Gota Abu Ramada in the El Arouk Giftun area as Egypt’s first artificial reef. The idea behind the sinking was to relieve some of the pressure from dive tourism from some of the other popular dive sites in the area. The ship had been lying on the reef just outside of Hurghada’s main harbour for some years after having broken her moorings in heavy weather and drifted onto the reef and looked to be the perfect candidate for a new recreational wreck dive
- The Red Sea Diving Association, with cooperation from the Egyptian Navy and the Red Sea Governor, purchased the ship from its owner, Mohamedi Hoeidek (some say it was donated, not purchased), and arrangements began for its sinking. This included removing all fuels, oils, and fluids, from the ship’s machinery and tanks. Removal of all trash and lose equipment, and finally closing off areas where penetration is prohibited and clearly marking exit points. Once all of this was completed, the ship was ready for sinking.
- The ship was original to be sunk in 30-meters of water in order to provide access by divers of all certification levels. However, this was not to be. Unfortunately, it was sunk in the wrong location and ended up resting in 46 meters of water instead, putting this wreck in the category of a shallow technical dive.
explore the wreck
- The wreck of the Hebat Allah lies upright on an even keel on a sandy bottom in 46 meters of water. The superstructure aft rises to a depth of 25 meters and her forward mast reaches up to 15 meters. The is a great dive for technical divers who are refreshing skills, testing new equipment or do not have the experience yet to go to deeper depths. The ship’s cargo hold lies between the superstructure and the forward mast is empty and open and is easily accessed. The pilothouse is accessible as are two small spaces in the focus. The ship, although a new wreck, is already being colonized by corals and the standard aquatic life in the area.
- This being a technical dive, there are some minimum requirements and restrictions on this wreck:
- 1. Divers must have a minimum of 100 logged dives and be certified as CMAS 3 star divers or equivalent e.g. Divemaster with PADI, NAUI, SDI / BSAC sports diver / SSI dive control specialist
- 2. Only one dive per day is allowed on the wreck as diving the Hebat Allah will inevitably require staged decompression.
- 3. A maximum of three boats are allowed to moor on the site at any one time, this is very important to adhere to ensure the sustained integrity of the wreck and for the enjoyment of the divers.
- 4. It is strongly recommended that dive centres and dive guides do not allow full penetration of the Hebat Allah except for divers who are certified to do that( such as full cave and advanced wreck qualifications).
- The Red Sea Diving association also indicated shortly after the wreck opened to divers that there would be 3 mooring buoys for mooring of boats, and 3 permanent shot lines would be also installed to assist in diver decompression.
- The M/T Laura Security was built in 1956 as the 486 GRT. cargo ship Baltica at Karlstad Varv AB (Yard No. 137), Karlstad, Sweden, for Malmö Rederi AB, Malmö, Sweden. She had a length of 57.76 meters, a beam of 8.64 meters, and a draught of 3.33 meters. Propulsion was provided by a 5-cylinder “Alpha” diesel and single shaft for a speed of 11 knots.
- The Baltica changed owners and names at various times throughout her rather uneventful career. One exception is that while still owned by Malmö Rederi AB, on 01 April 1964, the ship ran aground at Hasslo, an archipelago of Karlskrona, Sweden, and was refloated with assistance from the salvage tug Atlas and rescue boat Hjalparen.
- In 1965 the Baltica was transferred to Rederi AB Svea, Stockholm, Sweden (The SVEA Line), when Malmö Rederi AB was either purchased by SVEA of the company became a subsidiary.
- In 1969 the ship was sold to Partrederi R Dehlin, Visby, Sweden, and renamed Baltic.
- Sold in 1972 to Alvar Olsson, Varberg, Sweden, and again later that same year to W. Gothenius, Goteborg, Sweden. And then sold yet again in 1972 to Argo Mar Co, Ltd, Greece and renamed the Niki.
- In 1981 the Niki changed owners again twice that same year. First to K. Karafotias SA, Greece, and then to Malacontas SA, Panama, and renamed Laura Security.
- On 22 April 1983, the Laura Security was bound to Ras Shukhier from Suez with a cargo of fuel oil when she ran aground and was stranded off of Ras Shukhier. She was written off as a total constructive loss.
explore the wreck
- The Laura Security sits in shallow water close to Ras Shukier with her superstructure standing above the surface. Her main deck is at 6 meters complete with all of her deck equipment, hatches, handrails, winches, etc. Sections of hull plating have fallen away from the wreck making penetration into the focus and engine room quite easy. The engine room is located at 8 meters where piping, valves, and gauges can be seen. The bow and stern both make for great photo opportunities and the entire wreck is populated with a variety of marine life. This is a nice easy fun little dive that one can relax on as a third dive of the day.
- The Million Hope was a Bulk Cargo Carrier of 16,339 GRT built at Koyo Dockyard, Mihara-Hiroshima, Japan. Originally named the Ryusei Maru upon her being launched on 10 June 1972, she was 174.6 meters in length,24.9 meters in beam, and 10 meters in a draught, with twin 6-cylinder diesel engines and a single shaft for a speed of 17 knots. The ship had 5 massive cargo holds located forward of the superstructure and 4 gantry cranes, one mounted amidships between each of the tanks. The ship operated in the service of various companies between the time of her launching and the time of her loss. Shipwrecks of Egypt has found no reference to any of the shipowners except for the owner at the time of the ship’s loss.
- The ship operated as the Ryusei Maru until being sold in 1975 when she was renamed, Pacific Royal. Sold again in 1981 and named the Linngsbon until being resold yet again in 1987 and being given the name Feng Shun. In 1991 she was renamed the Hope and then sold once again to the Aksonas Shipping Company, Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus, in May 1996 and was renamed, Million Hope
- The Loss of the Million Hope:
- The ship departed Aqaba Jordan on 19 June 1996, en route to Taiwan with a cargo of 26,000 tons of potash and phosphates (One source states 15,000 tons potash, 11,000 tons phosphate). Early the following morning, 20 June, the ship ran aground on the inshore reef near Naqb which is located a few miles north of Sharm EL-Sheikh.
- The reason for the ship’s grounding varies between a fire occurring in the ship’s superstructure, a combination of high speed in low visibility conditions, or a combination of both, depending on which version of the incident one reads. However, there is evidence of there having been a fire on board. Lloyd’s List dated 24 June 1996 carried the following item under “Casualty Report“: “MILLION HOPE (Cyprus) Jun 21: Egyptian Maritime Officials said yesterday they were concerned about possible leakage of about 23,000 tons of phosphate and potassium plus 700 tons of fuel from the bulk carrier Million Hope which sank off Egypt’s the Sinai Peninsula, Cairo radio reported. All 25 members of the crew were rescued by Egyptian naval vessels and other vessels in an operation that lasted more than 20 hours. The vessel, on a voyage from Jordan to Taiwan, was ripped open by coral reefs near Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh resort. The vessel’s mainly Filipino crew huddled in the stern and refused to abandon ship until it became clear the vessel would sink, Cairo radio said. Some of the crew accused the vessel’s master of failing to follow the area’s prescribed navigation routes and of maintaining speed despite poor visibility.”The crew of 25 men were safely rescued shortly after the grounding.
- There were concerns by the local Egyptian authorities about oil and fuel leaking from the ship, but very little leakage occurred. And what leakage there was quickly dissipated. The greater worry was that the cargo of potash and phosphate would contaminate the surrounding reef systems. A salvage operation was launched prior to the ship’s sinking during which all of the chip’s cargo was removed before the ship sank at position 28.03.42N/34.26.40E in 21-24 meters of water.
explore the wreck
- This is the largest shipwreck in the Red Sea. The Million Hope sits upright, with a port list, on the bottom with its starboard side next to the reef. Most of the cranes and the upper levels of the superstructure are still above water. As the ship has a port list, the deck edge on that side is at approximately 6 meters. One can swim the entire length of the wreck and see the massive propellers aft (the rudder is missing), and see the “impact zone” where the bow of the ship struck the reef. Also scattered on the bottom around the ship is a veritable “junkyard” of steel bits and pieces. These are the remains of a ship which sank in the same spot many years prior to the Million Hope. This is the wreck. the approximately amidships on the starboard side between the ship and the reef there is a place where the hull has buckled and created a penetration point which allows access to one of the ship’s holds, which like the others, is empty. It’s like diving in a big salt water swimming pool! An entrance/exit from the hold is also located on the portside hold. At the aft end of the ship, the gantry for the No. 4 crane lies on the bottom. The main deck is at between 4-5 meters and allows penetration access to the lower decks of the superstructure. This, in turn, provides access to the engine room and other spaces below decks. The main deck area used to have all of the standard deck fittings and rails, but these may be gone by now. References: