Red Sea Wrecks- The El Tor/ Al Arish

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Al Arish

Al Arish

Type- Roll On/ Roll Off ferry

Built- Bergens ship yard, Norway

Launched- 23rd Sept 1980

Weight- 4,609GRT

Dimensions-  Length- 106m, Beam- 17.3m

Sank- 2002/ 04?

Location- Port of Safaga, East Coast, Egypt

Cause of Sinking- Unknown


History- The Al Arish, originally named the El Tor was built for and delivered to Misr Edco Sg. Col. LTD of Alexandria, she had 328 cabins, room for 1025 passengers and could carry 150 vehicles. She plied the routes between Egypt and Saudi for her entire life until her mysterious sinking sometime between 2002-04 (accounts differ on the exact date of her sinking).

On her final voyage between Jeddah and Safaga in 2001 a fire broke out in her engine room causing severe damage to the ship. Al Arish managed to make it to Safaga where she was anchored until one morning she just wasn’t there. Many believed she had sailed away in the night others believed she was scuttled in an insurance scam.

She was later found and dived by Peter Collings who knew her location before she sank and was positive she was on the bottom.


The Dive- Al Arish now lies on a sand/ sediment bottom in a sheltered area at 30m on her Port side with her starboard side only 12m below the surface making her a suitable dive for most divers. Photographers should be aware that the bottom stirs up easily and with very little water movement the silt takes time to settle.

It can also be very tempting to enter this wreck with many ways of getting in, this should not be attempted without proper training and equipment as there is a lot of silt inside which can be easily disturbed reducing visibilty to nil. Exhaled air can also disturb rust particles causing furter problems.

Other than this it is a very safe and enjoyable dive with many areas to explore. As far as Red Sea visibility goes, on my dive we had 15 – 20m vis, reducing as you near the bottom.

For photography a wide angle lens and fish eye is definately recommended however, there is some interesting macro photography to be had on this wreck as well.

Nitrox and a 15ltr tank would also be a good idea as the bottom 25 – 30m is interesting and you may want to spend some time there.

Location Map and Photos Below:



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published on April 28, 2011 by jason
tags: , , , , , , , , category: wreck

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