Abu Hashish is the island at the centre of a wide bay, 90 minutes South of Hurghada/Egypt. The island was once used as a drop-off point for smugglers bringing hash into the country. A tongue of reef extends about 1 kilometre South of the island. The dive site is at its Southernmost tip. There is a shelf between 15 and 22 metres outside and beyond that a steep but fairly bare drop-off, usually with superb visibility. Inside the tongue of reef is a scattering of long ergs.
Location: Red Sea / Egypt / Hurghada Description: Reef with coral garden Depths: 18 meters
Rough seas often make this site inaccessible from Hurghada, although the site itself is well protected. Current is mainly North to South and strongest along the drop-off.
Scuba divers leave the lagoon through an obvious channel filled with table corals, cross the shelf to the drop-off and follow it North. There are some beautiful caves in the 30-metre region. They return along the inside of the shelf and finish the dive back on the lagoon amongst the ergs.
Along the drop-off pelagics, such as jackfish, barracuda, Spanish mackerel, whitetip sharks and now and then, hammerhead sharks and feathertail rays may be seen. On the shelf turtles, bluespotted rays, Spanish dancers, morays, lunartail and leopard groupers live while in the lagoon schools of squid and baby barracuda play.
We have been setting up our scuba divers onboard Cassiopeia with this equipment which provides them with additional safety since 2008. This safety device saves the lives of drift-away divers worldwide.
The way the device works is that the scuba diver, after reaching the water surface and noticing that he/she is dangerously far from the diving boat / liveaboard, activates the device that is attached to the scuba diver’s tank or BCD. The receiver, located on the bridge of the diving liveaboard, registers the scuba diver’s signal through an outer antenna and alerts the crew onboard. The location and strength of the signal is displayed on the receiver, providing information on the distance and location of the scuba diver from the liveaboard.
It can be a life-saving solution in bad visibility, in heavy surfs, at night or in choppy waters.
The Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons send radio signals at 406 Mhz on a specified frequency which can be received by satellites, airplanes and rescue units. The advantage of a digital signal is that the position of the emergency can be detected virtually anywhere in the world.
This receiver is designed mainly for vessels, so due to its size, it is not possible for scuba divers to take it with them. But there is a practical solution to this – a 121.5Mhz personal position indicator. It operates within a smaller range but the 2-5.5km distance is suitable for drift-away scuba divers.