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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MILLION HOPE

The Loss of the Million Hope: Details of this loss are scarce. The Million Hope sailed from Aqaba on 19 June 1996 and in the early hours of 20 June struck a reef near Nabq. Her Filipino crew refused to abandon ship until it became clear it was going to sink and were then all rescued safely. The cargo was later salvaged and the ship abandoned as a constructive total loss.


Diving the Million Hope: The ship’s superstructure is above the surface and the hull rests on the seabed at 20m. Her starboard side is alongside the reef and the ship is upright with a list to port. The decks are underwater but not the foc’sle. The vessel is largely intact with no evidence of salvage. All the cargo holds are entirely open and empty. At the Bows there is clear evidence of the ship’s impact with the reef with the bulbous nose having been pushed back into the hull. Swimming between reef and hull you will find the remains of the Hey Daroma squashed underneath this massive ship. The huge propeller is at 20m but the rudder is missing. Above, this, the after-deck is at 4-5m with all the usual fittings in place. Behind a large mooring winch is an open deck hatch - which allows into the ship’s interior. From here the Diver is able to locate the engine room.


Postscript: Conflicting reports are being received with regard to the current state of this shipwreck. Some have stated that parts of the vessel which are above the surface are being dismantled because they are viewed as an eyesore by the owners of a newly constructed hotel. Elsewhere in the world, companies and tourist boards are spending millions on procuring and the deliberately sinking large ships as tourist attractions! What a pity they did not consider an alternative course of action.

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

North of Nabq, Sharm El Sheikh

Depth

20m

Constructed

1972

Launched

1972

Type

Bulk Carrier with 5 cargo holds and 4 cranes

Displacement

26181

Dimensions

Machinery

Two 6 Cylinder diesel engines

Owners

Aksonas Shipping Co Ltd, Limassol, Cyprus

Cargo

26,000 tons of Potash and Phosphates