Rosalie Moller

THE STORY OF THE SINKING:

egyipt_wrecks_rosalie_möller_3By the late 1930s the war was inevitable. British ship owners faced the possibility of either continuing the operations of their vessels and possibly experience serious financial losses if their vessels were to become casualties of war, which was not covered by most insurance companies, or recalling their vessels back to England to aid the war effort. The Rosalie Moller returned to Liverpool by 1940 and was transporting Welsh coal to various Royal Navy ports in England and sometimes as far as Gibraltar.
The Royal Navy’s “Force K” was operating out of Malta under constant siege by the Axis Forces, making it impossible for merchant ships to get anywhere close to the shores without being attacked and destroyed. Therefore the Navy needed re-fuelling facilities in Gibraltar and in Alexandria. Rosalie Moller’s next and final assignment was to deliver over 4,500 tons of coal to Alexandria. Because the Mediterranean was a hot bed for active war fighting, she was to sail around Africa and up the east coast.
The loss of the ship
She got her orders in July, 1941 and by mid-September she was travelling up the Red Sea. When reaching the Gulf of Suez, she was assigned “Safe Anchorage H” to await further instructions. The anchor was dropped, the engines were shut off and the wait began. There was a collision of vessels in the Suez Bay which blocked the entrance to the canal. The Thistlegorm was unable to enter the canal because of the same reason before being destroyed on October 6, 1941.
On October 7, 1941 two more twin-engine Heinkels returned to continue to bombard the vessels anchored in the gulf. The captain and the crew awoke to the loud engine noise of the planes. The aircrafts descended for a low-level attack and dropped their bombs. Two bombs were dropped, one striking the number 3 hold. The Rosalie Moller sank on October 8, 1941 at 01:40 with two of her crew missing.

DIVING AT THE WRECK:

egyipt_wrecks_rosalie_möller_6The wreck lies in an upright position on an even keel on the seabed. The bows are at 39m and the starboard anchor is deployed. Most of the wreck is in very good condition, many of her parts still remaining undamaged. On the upper deck the winches and the winch houses are all intact. The cargo hatches are gone but the cargo of coal still lies in the holds. The galley also managed to stay quite intact with pots and pans still hanging above a large stove. The wooden decks have rotted away but the port holes and the glass in them are all undamaged.
The funnel is still standing, leaning a tad and on the leading side there is a small ladder leading up to the copper steam whistle. The front and rear masts are still in place. The steering gear can be investigated along with the rudder which is at 45m. One of the four propeller blades is missing. There is damage to the rear quarters but the actual damage caused by the bombs that sank the ship is hardly visible.
Visibility is not as clear as in other parts of the Red Sea but the wreck teems with abundant fish and coral life. Corals cover the decks and railings and jackfish and tuna can be seen feeding in the morning hours.

Credit:

www.shipwrecksofegypt.com, www.wrecksite.eu , www.taucher.net, www.shipwrecksofegypt.com

Urania

THE STORY OF THE SINKING:


eritrea_wreck_urania2In the 1930s, during the wars in Africa, the Urania was used as a troopship. Just like the Nazario, she was trapped in the Red Sea in 1940, when Italy officially entered the war. She was immediately laid up at Massawa but with Eritrea about to fall into British hands, the ship was moved to the Dahlak Islands and was sunk on April 10, 1941.

Initially powered by two triple-expansion steam engines, capable of producing 853 NHP and a top speed of 14 knots, she was refitted with an oil-fired system in 1924.
Her name was changed to “Genova” in 1923 and to “Urania” in 1933. She was refitted to accommodate 60 passengers in first class, 139 in second class and 200 in third class. However she was still too small and not powerful enough to compete with the huge trans-Atlantic ships and she was used for service between Italy and her colonies in Africa and the East.

The Urania rests in shallow waters, lying on her port side. The starboard side behind the bridge is at surface level. There is a large hole on this side, probably caused by the explosion when sinking the vessel.

DIVING AT THE WRECK:


eritrea_wreck_urania3The bow section is the deepest part of the wreck, resting on the seabed at 23m. The entire metal structure is coated with thick coral encrustations which are home to a diverse selection of life forms and making this a virtual coral reef.

Between the two forward cargo holds the main mast is still virtually intact and lies along the seabed complete with a crow’s nest. The deck winches at the base of the mast are also still in their places. Next to this part on the seabed can be found a huge chainless anchor which is presumed to be a spare one. The port- and starboard-side anchor chains hide a marvellous life of anemones, sea lilies, hard coral sponges, sea urchins and various fish. The bows are intact and covered with sea-whips. The cargo holds are empty but the hatches are open, allowing for entry but with great care as the wreck is in a state of collapse.
The most exciting part of the dive are the accommodations areas. While the ship was laid up in Massawa for about a year, almost all usable parts and commodities had been removed. Now the wreck holds only the basic structure however a swimming pool is still visible left behind after upgrading amenities along with a bathtub.

The empty aft cargo holds are also open. From here the rear mast stretches into the sea and lies on the seafloor. Since this part of the wreck is at water surface, there is considerable damage to the decks. This part is kind of collapsed onto itself and it is difficult to piece together which parts belonged to where exactly. However a rich bird population has claims over this area. There are storks, herons, seagulls, kingfishers and countless other bird species. The aft section hides the huge rudder and the propeller shaft supports (the propellers are long gone).

Credit:

http://videoboomboom.com  http://it.wikipedia.org  www.deep-turtle.ch  Andrea Ghisotti

Nazario Sauro

THE STORY OF THE SINKING:

eritrea_wreck_nazario2By 1927 unable to compete with the more advanced transatlantic vessels, the Nazario was taken out of service until 1934.

She was re-commissioned and made transports between Italy and her East African territories like Somalia and Eritrea.

In 1940 Italy entered the War and in fear of falling into the hands of the British, Nazario and several other Italian ships tried to make their way back to Italy.

Some ships ended up being captured by the British while others remained near the Dahlak Islands as did Nazario. She was supposedly sunk by allied bombings during the 1941 campaign.

DIVING AT THE WRECK:

eritrea_wreck_nazario5The wreck was first discovered in the 1960s. This large ship sits in a perfect upright position on an even keel. Her deepest part lies at about 39m deep on the seabed. The wreck is largely intact due to her sheltered position.

The two main holds in the bows are easy to access due to the hatch covers being gone. Although empty, the holds provide and interesting trip into the insides of the ship where thousands of glassfish make their home. The main mast still stands and its top is only about 3m from the water surface. Below the mast the deck winches are still in place and the loading booms are stowed.

Beyond the bridge can be found the remains of four large engine room ventilators as well as of the large funnels. Below them are several rooms and compartments that can be explored. Visibility can get murky here.

In the stern section is the third hold, right before the rear mast. This hold is also empty and the winches and cargo booms are in their places. Way in the back the giant rudder is still intact but the twin-propellers are missing.

What make the wreck unique are some of her parts and sections that are completely undisturbed such as kitchen equipment in the galley, the ballroom staircase, music instruments and medical supplies in the ship’s infirmary.

The wreck of Nazario is a beautiful dive not only due to her size but also to the beautiful marine life here. All the railings are intact and everything is encrusted in soft and hard corals and other marvellous organisms. Sea whips are gorgonians are abundant here along with a pulsing fish life.

Credit:
http://portal.unesco.org  http://www.superscuba.it/wrecker/disegni/  http://lusignolo.wordpress.com/  www.deep-turtle.ch  Andrea Ghisotti

 

Ship wreck of Giannis D

Location: Sha’ab Abu Nuhas
Description: Japanese freighter
Depths: 4 -24 meters
Length: 100 meters
The Sha’ab Abu Nuhas large coral reef lies in the Gubal straight. This reef is just as well known (although feared) among sailors as it is among divers. There are seven ship wrecks lying on the bottom of the sea, one of them the Ghiannis D. She hit the reef in April of 1983 and over the course of two weeks slowly split in two and sank. She is undoubtedly one of the best wreck dives in the Red Sea.
To find the Ghiannis D, leave the lagoon via the channel to the West. Proceed slowly along the Nothern reef at a distance of about 50 metres. It can be seen from the surface after about 200 metres. This is the most accessible of the other wrecks in rough seas. It takes extremely foul weather to make it out of bounds to divers equipped with a zodiac. Current is minimal.
The best part of the wreck is the stern section. It lies on the seabed at 28 metres, upright but slightly skewed to one side. She is an ideal wreck for penetration with a number of entry and exit points. Because she is skewed, the interior has impossible angles and perspectives. You find yourself swimming up a stairwell which your mind tells you is heading down. The effect is very disorientating and the conflict between balance and vision can even lead to sea sickness. The engine room is at the centre of this zone. It is large and spacious but dark. Take a torch. There is a large air pocket in the engine room. This should be avoided unless you want to be covered in the layer of oil that floats on the water’s surface.
Outside the stern section the masts, railings, wires and cables are festooned with soft corals. Some dramatic photographs can be taken of the superstructure silhouetted against the light. The bow section is also picturesque but it is a long swim away. Your time and air might be better used exploring the shallow mast and rigging of the stern, where you can also do your safety stops.

Large potato cod often hang out to the North. Free swimming morays, snapperfish, eagle rays, mackerels, groupers and sharks can also be seen.

The Sha’ab Abu Nuhas large coral reef lies in the Gubal straight. This reef is just as well known (although feared) among sailors as it is among scuba divers. There are seven ship wrecks lying on the bottom of the sea, one of them the Ghiannis D. She hit the reef in April of 1983 and over the course of two weeks slowly split in two and sank. She is undoubtedly one of the best wreck dives in the Red Sea.

Location of the wreck: Red Sea / Egypt / Sha’ab Abu Nuhas
Description: Japanese freighter
Depths: 4 -24 meters
Length: 100 meters

The ship wreck of Giannis D

To find the Ghiannis D, leave the lagoon via the channel to the West. Proceed slowly along the Nothern reef at a distance of about 50 metres. It can be seen from the surface after about 200 metres. This is the most accessible of the other wrecks in rough seas. It takes extremely foul weather to make it out of bounds to divers equipped with a zodiac. Current is minimal.

The best part of the wreck is the stern section. It lies on the seabed at 28 metres, upright but slightly skewed to one side. She is an ideal wreck for penetration with a number of entry and exit points. Because she is skewed, the interior has impossible angles and perspectives. You find yourself swimming up a stairwell which your mind tells you is heading down.

The effect is very disorientating and the conflict between balance and vision can even lead to sea sickness. The engine room is at the centre of this zone. It is large and spacious but dark. Take a torch. There is a large air pocket in the engine room. This should be avoided unless you want to be covered in the layer of oil that floats on the water’s surface.

Outside the stern section the masts, railings, wires and cables are festooned with soft corals. Some dramatic photographs can be taken of the superstructure silhouetted against the light. The bow section is also picturesque but it is a long swim away. Your time and air might be better used exploring the shallow mast and rigging of the stern, where you can also do your safety stops.

Large potato cod often hang out to the North. Free swimming morays, snapperfish, eagle rays, mackerels, groupers and sharks can also be seen during scuba diving.