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Monday 30 October 2023

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Red Sea Egypt

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Red Sea Egypt 

Shaab Abu Nuhas, or Shaʽb Abu Nuħas (Arabic: شعب أبو النحاس, romanized: Shaʿb Abū an-Nuḥās), is a triangular-shaped coral reef northwest of Shadwan Island in the northern Red Sea off Hurghada. The reef is a navigation hazard because it projects into the shipping channel, as evidenced by (at least) seven shipwrecks 65 kilometres southeast of Hurghada.

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

 This includes the SS Carnatic (1896),Kimon M (1978), Olden (1987), Chrisoula K (1981) and Giannis D (1983). The reef and the wrecks are popular for scuba diving; four of the wrecks are at a depth of more than 30 metres (98 ft). The name of the reef is Arabic for "reef of father of copper", after the cargo of one of the wrecks.

This diving area, just north of Shadwan Island, is a slightly triangular shaped fantastic site to submerge into the sea with five shipwrecks to explore. The main attraction is the wreck of the Carnatic, a UK cargo ship sunk in 1869, which is still in incredibly good condition with its skeletal remains home to flourishing coral and abundant fish life.

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

Abu Nuhâs is a wreck divers dream come true boasting four vastly different wrecks in very close proximity to each other and all within comfortable diving depths of 30 metres or less. The wrecks are located on the north side of the reef .

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

Back in the early 90s when we used to bring day boats here from Hurghada we often had no choice but to moor in less than ideal conditions, however, these days most boats which come here have a RIB or boat tender. This means that the main dive boat moors behind the reef near a sand lagoon or behind Woodvalley Reef (a small reef piece on the west end)

What are the wrecks of Shaab Abu Nuhas? 

At least four complete wrecks lie here. They are the Chrisoula K, the Kimon M, the Carnatic and the Giannis D. Abu Nuhas is exposed to current and wind, so swelling waves may be inconvenient for the inexperienced divers. The Carnatic is widely recognized as the most beautiful wreck on Abu Nuhas.

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

The Giannis D, a 100m general cargo vessel built in Japan but under Greek ownership, hit the Abu Nuhas Reef at full tilt on 19 April 1983. The ship, laden with timber, sank to 24m with the stern and bow still intact but amidships is now a crumpled mess. The engine room at a depth of 13m offers easy and superb penetration through clouds of glassfish. You can investigate the multilevel rooms and passageways here for octopus and giant moray eel. 

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

The bow mast extends out horizontally from the boat, creating a great spot to search for scorpionfish, gobies and nudibranchs. To end your dive you can simply climb the main mast up to the shallows at 4m and perform your safety stop there.

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

The British built Carnatic is one of the oldest wrecks in the Red Sea and is many scuba divers favourite at Abu Nuhas. It hit the reef here on 12 September 1869, laden with gold, wine and cotton on route to India. The cargo ship initially balanced on top of the reef but after 36 hours it succumbed to the elements and its fate, snapping in two and sinking parallel to the reef at 24m. The crew and passengers managed to make use of the delay by escaping on lifeboats to Shadwan Island, 3 km to the south. However, 31 lives were lost on the island due to the cold nights whilst waiting for rescue to arrive. All the gold was remarkably salvaged some 2 months later by another British ship.

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

The Chrisoula K was a 98m Greek registered freighter that sank on 31 August 1981, laden with floor tiles. The ship lies with its stern and propeller at 26m and its bow in shallow water at only 3m. It sits more or less upright but the stern is slowly separating. The wreck offers plenty of swim-throughs and penetration diving opportunities but beware of the numerous obstructions such as fallen beams and poles. Its superstructure is now encrusted with a layer of hard corals, and is home to flatworms, lionfish, Arabian Picasso triggerfish, and clown sand wrasse. Dolphins also pass by here occasionally.

Abu Nuhas Wrecks Guide Hurghada Red Sea Egypt

The Kimon M is the deepest of the Red Sea wrecks within recreational scuba diving depths here. Its stern lies on the seabed at 32m, with its bow shallower at 15m. This 120m German cargo vessel sank on 12 December 1978, laden with lentils. Initially the boat sat upright on the reef but later currents and wind pushed the ship into deeper water on its starboard side. Much of its cargo and engine were recovered after its sinking. The wreck harbours several different species of pipefish.

The Seastar is the 5th shipwreck at Abu Nuhas, but since it lies in water 90m deep, it is not frequently dived, and certainly not by recreational divers.

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