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Abu Nuhas Deep North DEEP NORTH WRECKS Routes Strait of Gubal

The Carnatic

  • 27°34.746′ N – 33°55.546′ E
  • The wreck of the Carnatic is situated immediately to the east of Giannis D. and lies almost parallel to the Greek cargo vessel.
  • The Carnatic was an elegant British vessel, built-in 1862 by the London shipyard Samuda Bros, it measures 89.9 meters long and 11.6 meters wide with a tonnage of 1,776 and belonged to the first generation of those ‘steamers’ with mixed propulsion, i.e. sail and steam. The engine was fuelled by a boiler in the centre of the hull, with a 4-cylinder engine that supplied the vessel with a power of 2,422 HP. The Carnatic, operated by P&O (Peninsular and Orient), serviced the Suez-Bombay route and sometimes went as far as
  • The wreck of the Carnatic is situated immediately to the east of Giannis D. and lies almost parallel to the Greek cargo vessel.
  • The Carnatic was an elegant British vessel, built-in 1862 by the London shipyard Samuda Bros, it measures 89.9 meters long and 11.6 meters wide with a tonnage of 1,776 and belonged to the first generation of those ‘steamers’ with mixed propulsion, i.e. sail and steam. The engine was fuelled by a boiler in the centre of the hull, with a 4-cylinder engine that supplied the vessel with a power of 2,422 HP. The Carnatic, operated by P&O (Peninsular and Orient), serviced the Suez-Bombay route and sometimes went as far as
  • China. Weighing anchor in Suez on the 12 September 1869 on its way to Bombay, the Carnatic ran aground on reef of Abu Nuhas in the night of the 12–13th September despite
  • CARNATIC Type of ship: steamer Nationality: British Year of construction: 1862 Length: 89.8 m Width: 11.6 m Tonnage: 1,776 t Date of shipwreck:
  • 12–13th September 1869 Depth: 27 m
  • good weather conditions: the inquiry of the Board of Trade in London revealed that a strong current caused the ship to deviate from its route. Apart from 34 passengers and 176 crew members on board, the Carnatic was transporting cotton bales, the mail destined for British troops in India, and a cargo of the finest bottles of wine and soda water, still visible until a few years ago. One of the holds also
  • contained 40,000 sterling in gold that was retrieved at the beginning of November 1869: but the legend lives on that some of the bullion still remains inside the hold… Despite the impact, Captain Philip Buton Jones did not deem the situation to be dangerous for passengers and crew, so all stayed on board waiting for assistance from another P&O Liner called Sumatra that was operating the same route. But at 2 am on the 14th September, the water level inside the hull rose suddenly and the situation became worse in the following hours as the wind rose and the waves grew. At 2 am, the captain gave the order to abandon ship but the Carnatic suddenly snapped into two sections, taking with it 31 lives. Parts of the hull were left on the reef for a couple of months until after a strong storm it glided to the seabed at a depth of 27 meters and shattered into a third section. Most of the ship’s structure today is corroded and covered by soft corals. Its exploration starts from the stern with the big propeller with three blades. Continue along the deck to
  • reach the bridge and the engine room situated at a depth of 25 meters with the boiler and propulsion machinery; on the seabed rest the two masts. The holds are easily accessible and host dense schools of glassfish (Parapriacanthus Sansonetti) best observed in the early morning hours when the sunlight filters through the distinctive square portholes. The bow with its unmistakable elegant and tapered line rests on the reef at a depth of 16 meters. Groupers, trevallies and lionfish swarm around the wreck whose structure has become home for hard corals, sponges and numerous soft corals.
  • Features • Wreck of significant historical interest as it is the most important steamer found in the Red Sea. • Superb bunches of soft corals growing on the metal structures of the deck. • A gigantic umbrella-shaped Acropora is situated in the centre section of the wreck, a huge Malabar grouper often rests under its branches.
  • Comments • Relatively easy diving, only to be effected in calm seas. • Be careful of sharp pieces of metal. • Dive preferably in the morning.