John Kean wrote an Insider’s Red Sea Wreck Guide series on Blue Magazine, partially also published on DIVER, Britains best-selling diving magazine. Covered are the ship’s history, the story of their tragic ending and tips for divers planning a visit. We might even continue to add more Red Sea wrecks to the original series. Upcoming: the Salem Express, the Kingston (Shag Rock), the Jolanda, the Ulysses, the Kimon M, the Giannis D, the ‘Chrisoula K’ (aka the Marcus), the Rosalie Moller and maybe some more…?
The Carnatic, situated at Abu Nuhas, is one of the oldest, traceable wrecks in the Red Sea. It is also another British disaster case where a reputable shipping company sent a high profile vessel crashing into an Egyptian reef system. Like many other significant ships that have met their demise in the Northern Red Sea, the Carnatic was relatively young, at only seven-years-old. The Thistlegorm was just 18 months, the Numidia less than a year and the Dunraven also a young casualty at three years old.
The great tragedy of the Carnatic was that in the short period between its grounding and sinking there was ample time to leave the ship and save all on board. This was a situation not unlike the…
The stories told of the Dunraven wreck are vast and colourful, including one theory it was Lawrence of Arabia’s treasure ship. John Kean digs into the BBC documentary archives to find out the real story behind this popular wreck lying at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula.
The short movie began to play. Surviving three generations of media display, this old copy of a documentary from the BBC 2 World About Us TV series had made it from the television to the VCR and now onto my tiny USB flash stick. Perhaps the secrets of the SS Dunraven shipwreck would finally be revealed to us? I knew the program was old as it began with an interview on a commercial airliner showing a man with a lighted…
The Numidia lies near the Big Brother island in Egypt’s south Red Sea.
Smashing British ships into Egyptian reef systems seems to have been something of a national sport around one hundred years ago when the Dunraven, the Carnatic and the Numidia all came out worse following collisions with these timeless ecosystems.
The ‘Brothers’, as they are known, are a remote reef system consisting of Big Brother and Small Brother islands, which are about 500 meters apart and around 40 kilometers from the nearest land. As far as Red Sea safari divers are concerned they are as remote as you can get and make for some spectacular diving. Big Brother is home to a lighthouse and its staff, a few small…
A popular stop-off for Egyptian Red Sea liveaboards heading south across the border to Sudan, the wreck of the Umbria provides a wealth of interests for visiting divers. John Kean explores the wreck and its explosive story.
On 6 December 1917 the French ship Mont Blanc collided with the Norwegian ship the SS Imo in Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia, Canada. There was initial minor damage to the bow; however, a small fire broke out as a result of sparks igniting some of the benzol and picric acid barrels on the bow deck. The crew, unable to reach the fire-fighting equipment, abandoned ship under the orders of the skipper, Aime Le Medec, and within ten minutes had reached portside where they…
The Zingara (aka Kormoran)
Only when the wind changes and the sea is mirror-calm is it possible for divers to explore one of Sharm el Sheikh’s lesser-known wrecks in the Strait of Tiran. John Kean explores the wreck, its history and the story behind its identity crisis.
On Tuesday, 21 August 1984, the Zingara ship left the port of Aqaba in Jordan. She was carrying a cargo of phosphate that a few hours later would end up strewn all over the reef of Laguna in the Strait of Tiran.
Few are familiar in Sharm with the name, ‘Zingara’. The reason being that they know the wreck as the Kormoran. There is a logical explanation for this; despite several name changes during its seagoing life, the original name of this ship was…