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Hurghada – Tanks and other military vehicles goes underwater

Published: August 3, 2023 - 14:00
Updated: August 4, 2023 - 16:12
Hurghada – Tanks and other military vehicles goes underwater
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On August 3rd, Egypt will be launching a military underwater museum in Hurghada, a renowned diving destination.

Military vehicles sunk in Hurghada

The initiative involves the sinking of 15 decommissioned military warships in three popular dive sites, aimed at relieving the pressure on the existing reefs and promoting sustainable dive tourism. The event will take place at the Hurghada Tourist Marina at 3 pm, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable future for the dive sites at Hurghada.

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hurghada tanks underwater

Situated off the coast of the Red Sea Governate, these carefully planned sites were established through collaboration between the Red Sea Reserves, the Ministry of the Environment, and civil society organizations. The primary objective of the project is to allow coral reefs to regenerate by reducing the direct human impact on them. The warships will be placed in three renowned locations: Sha`b al-Saqala, Uruq al-Tawil, and Erq Jame` in Magawish.

Hurghada military museum dive site map

Alarming statistics

The need for this project arises from alarming statistics that indicate the reefs have been subjected to over 200,000 dives per site per year, far exceeding the sustainable limit of 22,000 dives. Such excessive diving had caused considerable damage to these fragile ecosystems.

Recognizing the shared responsibility of safeguarding the coral reefs, all stakeholders came together to devise a solution that could maintain tourism, educate on history, and protect marine life. Regular monitoring of Hurghada’s dive sites revealed their dramatic deterioration over time, necessitating immediate action.

The plan encompasses a series of steps

Creating new dive sites with the sunken warships will attract divers interested in exploring historical features underwater, offering an alternative diving experience. This shift in diver focus will allow the existing sites to gradually regenerate, supporting the growth of ecosystems and expanding their territory. Moreover, the extra time afforded by this diversion will enable institutions and associations to develop more progressive plans for managing these underwater sites, meeting financial demands without harming the environment. By collaborating with various stakeholders, Egypt ensures the preservation of its natural assets for future generations. Additionally, there are plans to generate four more dive sites shortly with a specific focus on sustainability.

The impacts of climate change have affected ecosystems worldwide, leading to species migration and the destruction of precious coral reefs. The reefs in Hurghada are now considered some of the last refuges of coral reefs, underscoring the urgency of their protection. The integration of the natural environment with history provides a unique opportunity for knowledge enrichment in both fields. Together, they showcase the symbolic relationship between artificial reefs and the development of ecosystems on them. The museum’s establishment marks a milestone in safeguarding Egypt’s natural treasures for future generations while promoting responsible and educational diving practices.

Who will be at the inauguration ceremony:

Given the importance and enormity of this event, all parties, led by the Ministry of Environment and the Red Sea Governorate, considered it a regional and international event. A celebration of this event will be held on August 3, 2023, in the presence of:

We are honored by the attendance, representing the Egyptian government, of Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and Mr. Major General Amr Hanafi, Governor of the Red Sea. An invitation was extended to the Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Mr. Ahmed Issa, to attend. We are also honored by the presence of the Arab Ministers of Environment from each of

– Kingdom of Jordan

– Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

– Republic of Djibouti

– Republic of Somalia

– Republic of Sudan

– Republic of Yemen,

And several scientists and those interested in diving in the Red Sea at the inauguration ceremony and press conference on Thursday, August 3, 2023, at 3 pm in Hurghada Tourist Marina, where Major General Amr Hanafi, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, and Dr. Mahmoud Hanafi, scientific advisor for the Red Sea Governorate and the HEPCA.

HEPCA:

HEPCA, or the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association, is an internationally recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Egypt. Founded in 1992, HEPCA specializes in marine and land conservation, focusing primarily on the Red Sea’s environment. The association spearheads several community-based initiatives aimed at engaging and empowering the local community. One of its notable achievements includes the creation of the largest mooring system in the world, which plays a crucial role in preserving Egypt’s coral reefs. HEPCA estimates that without the mooring buoys, the destruction of coral reefs along Egypt’s Red Sea coastline would have been 70% higher. Through their conservation efforts, HEPCA continues to make a significant impact on the protection and preservation of Egypt’s unique ecological habitats.

 

 

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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