The Thistlegorm was a British Naval ship that sank off the coast of Ras Muhammad in the Red Sea in 1941. The wreck was discovered in the early 1950’s by Jacques Cousteau and was then documented by him in his book ‘The Living Sea’.
Now a well known dive site thousands upon thousands of recreational divers’ visit the wreck each year to explore not only the ship herself but also the amazing amount of cargo that she was carrying.
How to Get to the Thistlegorm
The Thistlegorm has been labelled as one of the top ten wreck dives in the world. Add to this its location in the Red Sea, Egypt and you have yourself an incredibly busy dive site that can get quite crowded at times.
Almost all of the dive centers in Sharm el Sheikh offer to take divers to the wreck however if you want to avoid the crowds and want to explore the wreck at your own pace, you may want to look into a stay on a liveaboard dive boat which again can be booked in Sharm el Sheikh or before you travel.
It takes around four hours to reach the dive site from the coast line so you can see why liveaboards are such a good option.
Dive the Thistlegorm
The Thistlegorm is accessible to all divers who have obtained their PADI Advanced Open Water certification. This is because the wreck lies at around 30m underwater with its deepest point being 32m and the shallowest around 16m and the currents can be quite strong at certain times of the year.
The visibility of the wreck is usually good all year round (due to the currents) however when the weather conditions above sea are bad divers can expect silt to be stirred up in the water which leads to poor visibility.
What You Can Expect to See
As with most wrecks, the Thistlegorm is now home to a variety of marine life. On your dive you can expect to see turtles, batfish, snappers, stone fish, lionfish, barracuda, crocodile fish and of course all of the usual fish that you would expect to see in the Red Sea.
Most people visiting a wreck however want to explore the shell and you definitely won’t be disappointed here. The Thistlegorm was sunk with motorcycles, trucks and rifles on board and all can still be clearly seen in the wreckage.
Due to the vast amount of dive operators that visit the wreck on a daily basis and natural rusting the wreck has started to disintegrate. Many of the dive schools were mooring their boats close to the weaker parts of the wreck and this caused part of the wreck to collapse in 2007.
Whilst the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association have tried to prevent further damage being done some dive companies are still mooring their boats above unstable areas on the wreck which doesn’t bode well for its future.
Would you like to scuba dive the Thistlegorm or have you been already? Let us know in the comments below
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole and his team work full time to create a platform where divers can go to if they are looking for anything scuba related. It started with a simple blog who knows where it ends. The team is dedicated to make a change within the dusty old scuba industry.