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Wrecks of the Red Sea - "Ghannis D" a.k.a. "Shoyo Maru"

Diving in Egypt, contrary to popular opinion, is not only a colourful and diverse life of coral reefs, or the vast depths of underwater canyons, where freedivers and technical divers found a paradise. Blue waters, surrounding the Sinai Peninsula, also hide many interesting and beautiful places for all wreck diving enthusiasts. One of the most
Published: July 20, 2011 - 10:13
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:12
Wrecks of the Red Sea – “Ghannis D” a.k.a. “Shoyo Maru”

Diving in Egypt, contrary to popular opinion, is not only a colourful and diverse life of coral reefs, or the vast depths of underwater canyons, where freedivers and technical divers found a paradise. Blue waters, surrounding the Sinai Peninsula, also hide many interesting and beautiful places for all wreck diving enthusiasts.

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One of the most interesting locations is the Abu Nuhas reef, after a collision with which many vessels ended their service by going to the bottom. Among them was, inter alia, the cargo ship “Ghiannis D”. The huge, almost 100m long vessel, is one of the biggest wreck attractions, and what is most important, it is easily accessible.

“Ghiannis D” was built by the Japanese shipyard Kuryshima Dock Company in 1969, and received its first name – Shoyo Maru. The ship, with a capacity of almost 3,000 tonnes, was equipped with a 6-cylinder engine, allowing it to develop a speed of 12 knots. In 1975 the vessel was sold and renamed “Markos” (this name is still painted on the hull). Five years later, in 1980, she was bought by a Greek ship owner – The Dumarc Shipping and Trading Corporation of Piraeus. The new owner gave her the name by which she is best known – “Ghiannis D”.

It set off on its last voyage loaded with timber from the port of Rijeka in Croatia. The cargo was to be delivered to ports in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The voyage across the Adriatic and the Mediterranean passed smoothly and according to plan. The most difficult crossing awaited the crew on the Red Sea. It was there, after passing the Suez Canal, that they found themselves in dangerous waters, full of small islands and coral formations hidden just below the surface. Despite the crew’s experience and increased vigilance, on 13 April 1983 “Ghiannis D” crashed into a coral reef and sank. Fortunately, the shipwreck did not cause any casualties, apart from the one offered to Neptune in the form of cargo.

Among the wrecks on Abu Nuhas Reef, this one is the youngest and one of the most interesting. The most interesting part is the stern, separated from the rest of the vessel, resting on the bottom in 3 pieces. It is tilted to the port side at a 45° angle, at a depth of 23m. There are a lot of places where we can enter. The most impressive place is the engine room, where we find two huge diesel engines. Due to the considerable tilt of the wreck, exploring its interior is a very interesting experience. However, care must be taken not to lose your orientation and not to get lost. Visibility reaches 45m, so the conditions for diving and photography are perfect. Numerous representatives of the local fauna will keep us company during the tour.

The remains of “Ghianni D”, is definitely something worth seeing. The diving is easy, enjoyable and provides a great experience. The item is especially recommended, for all those interested in underwater photography. The wreck is such a graceful object that it has been voted the most photogenic vessel in the Red Sea by visiting Red Sea divers. Care should be taken during ascent, as very large waves are encountered in this area.

Source: diving-stars.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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