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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GIANNIS D

The Loss of the Giannis D: In April 1983, the Giannis D was loaded with sawn timber at Rijeka, Croatia destined for Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The ship made good time through the Mediterranean and down through the Suez Canal. On 19 April 1983 she was approaching the Straits of Gobal at full speed when the ship was seen to suddenly veer sharply from her course and drive hard onto the north west corner of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas Reef. The crew abandoned the vessel and were safely rescued.


Diving the Giannis D: Today, the “Giannis D” is found in three parts - Bows, Amidships and Stern. Most Divers head straight for the stern - which looks as though it was cleanly cut from the remainder of the ship by an acetylene torch. This section is canted over towards it’s port side at an angle of about 45 degrees and is 24m at the deepest point. Part of the “A” Frame reaches to within 4m of the surface. With bridge deck and engine room at the stern, this section provides the diver with the most interesting features. Externally, the propeller and rudder are found on the seabed above which is the ladder hanging down the side. Above the port Companionway are two raised deck levels above which the funnel is still intact. Next to the funnel is a skylight offering easy access to the engine room. The engines are intact. On the leading edge of the bridge deck is the bridge itself. This is a large open room with plenty of light and several entry points. Immediately in front of the bridge is a very large “A” Frame once used for hoisting cargoes.

Swimming eastwards with the reef over to the right, the Diver passes over a debris field of broken ship which includes a substantial part which once comprised port-side companionway and No 2 Mast. Various booms litter the seabed. Eventually, the diver will arrive at the bow section. Often overlooked, it rests on its port side with the mainmast lying parallel to the seabed covered in corals.


Postscript: This original name of this ship was “Shoyo Maru.” In 1975, however, she was renamed “Markos.” Curiously, some people continue to call this ship by the misnomer ‘Markos D.’ Elsewhere, false details of other fictitious wrecks have been published by various derivatives of Markos, Marko, Markus and even Marcus. No ship with any of these names is known to have been lost in the Red Sea.

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

Straits of Gobal, Sha'ab Abu Nuhas, northern tip

Depth

6m to 27m

Constructed

1969

Launched

Kurushima Dock Company, Imabari, Japan

Type

Freighter

Displacement

2932

Dimensions

Machinery

4 stroke, single action, 6 cylinder diesel engine

Owners

Dumarc Shipping and Trading Corporation, Piraeus,

Cargo

Sawn timber