Wreck Diving
Wrecks of the Red Sea

The Red Sea has been an important international waterway since time immemorial. The first record of a trading expedition in the Red Sea dates back to year 1493 BC, when Queen Hatchepsut of Egypt sent a fleet of five vessels from El Quseir, on the Red Sea mainland coast, to the Land of Punt, near present-day Somalia.

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DUNRAVEN

The Loss of the Dunraven: In January 1876 the Dunraven sailed from Liverpool for India and eventually departed Bombay for the return journey on 6 April loaded with a general cargo for Liverpool. The ship was under command of Captain Edward Richards Care who had a crew of 24. After a brief stop at Aden, they entered the Red Sea and headed north. At 0340 hrs, 25 April 1876 the Dunraven struck a reef near the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula and was lost.

Diving the Dunraven: The Dunraven is completely upside down with her port side running parallel to an adjacent reef. The Bows are at 17m and the stern at 30m. An anchor chain runs down to the seabed from the port hawse pipe and the diver can just enter the foc’sle. From the Bows, it is a long swim over the upturned keel to a point approximately amidships where the hull is broken and the remains of the funnel are seen on the seabed. trying to enter the front section is not recommended. The aft section includes the Engine Room and allows the diver to swim right through to the stern. Exit from the stern is well lit. On top of the hull, the rudder and propeller are still in place where there is plenty of coral growth. On the seabed are the remains of both masts.

Postscript (1): Edward Richards Care gained his Master’s Certificate at the early age of 23 years and was given command of the Dunraven two years later in August 1874. The Court of Enquiry found the loss of this ship to have been caused by his negligence and revoked his Master’s certificate for 12 months.

Postscript (2): Despite various conflicting accounts of who was the first to discover this wreck, the man who went in search of the Dunraven and actually found her was Howard Rosenstein who, in the early 1970s had formed Red Sea Divers and was based in Na’ama Bay.

Ned Middleton is an award-winning, best selling author. For more information about this and other shipwrecks found within the Egyptian sector of the Red Sea, his book “Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea” (ISBN 1898162719 and 1905492162) is readily available. This book was declared “Underwater Publication of the Year” for 2007.

Location

Sha'ab Mahmoud

Depth

17-30m

Constructed

1873

Launched

December 1873

Type

Iron screw steamer - general cargo vessel

Displacement

1613

Dimensions

Machinery

Coal fired two cylinder compound inverted steam en

Owners

W. Milburn of London

Cargo

General cargo