Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Egypt’s Red Sea offers the best opportunity to explore a collection of the world’s most famous shipwrecks, and you may not find any other country that boasts such an assortment in a relatively limited area. , in constant conditions in hot water.
The Egyptian couple and divers Ahmed Gomaa and Renata Romeo unveil one of the most famous shipwrecks in the southern Red Sea, the Chinese naval tugboat “Tien Hsing”, known as “Abu Galawa Kabir”.
The tugboat “Tien Hsing” lies at a depth of 18 meters relatively parallel to a reef, and the rudder and propeller are partially buried in the sandy seabed, according to the Red Sea Shipwreck Documentation Project.
All the wooden parts of the boat are long gone, leaving the steel hull, now covered with hard and soft corals.
The keel is still intact and can swim between it and the reefs.
Romeo explains in an interview with CNN in Arabic that the tragedy with this steam locomotive is one of history’s best kept secrets, noting that the process of its construction dates back to 1935 in Shanghai, China, and in 1943, ie. During World War II, it sailed on a voyage from the city of Suez to the city of Massawa in Eritrea, when, for unknown reasons, it ran aground and sank into the coral reefs of the people of “Abu Galawa Kabir”.
This tragedy has become a magical destination for divers, where a charming reef-covered wreck is easy to explore, even if it is only an exclusive experience for experienced divers.
For 79 years, the tugboat has been underwater, and it is one of the wrecks among the richest coral reefs, some of which are sea vegetation so dense that they are indistinguishable from the reefs, giving an enchanting sight, Romeo says.
Jumah describes the wreck of “Abu Galawa Kabir” as completely covered by hard coral reefs through which the tug’s steel structures can be seen, pointing out that the arch appears to have become part of the coral reef, he said.
He points out that all these scenes of hard and soft coral on the hull provide a stunning photographic element.
In terms of how to reach the wreck site, Gomaa explains that the Abu Galawa Shaab area is an isolated coral reef located about 16 kilometers from the city of Hamata and can be reached by Liveboard boat from Hurghada and Marsa Alam, or by speedboat from Wadi al-Lahmi is about 40 minutes from the wilderness base.
The couple, Jumaa and Romeo, dived together on a speedboat from Wadi El-Lahmy, where they spent a few days snorkeling around the southern region.
Romeo describes the experience of diving among the wrecks of wartime ships, with emotions associated with the tragedies, despair and pain of the many sailors who lost their lives there.
Romeo points out that the tension lies in the mystery surrounding this sunken locomotive, as there are not many details about its history, and under what circumstances it sank, or the fate of those on board.
“We are fortunate to have been able to dive into such historic sites,” she adds.
Inside the wreck, where you can enter through a narrow door, you can see the 3-cylinder steam engine room and piping.
As with most shipwrecks, many fish, such as cardinal or glassfish, can be found sheltered in these dark spaces.
The experience was not without difficulty for the duo as their journey was somewhat turbulent due to the adverse weather conditions that day and they could only take one quick dive as they had to move to another location for the next dive.
Underwater, outside the wreck, the duo had to wait a while for the other divers in their group to move away to get the documentation.
Romeo points out that it was very difficult to get into the wreck with all our photographic equipment and they had to be very careful not to lift silt with their movements.
“Some of the debris inside was sharp and we had to move very carefully so as not to hit our bodies and get hurt,” she says.
Romeo thinks that Abu Galawa is a great place that offers snorkeling opportunities near the coral reefs, and beginners can settle for the impressive sight of the wreck even from the outside.
The duo can not help but check the weather until they plan to dive there, and enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of the wreck and its coral gardens.