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SS THISTLEGORM

Diving the SS Thistlegorm

A trip around Thistlegorm today is like traveling through time and many visitors experience high emotions during the dive. It is after all a bombsite with highly visible signs of great destruction and loss. It's also a giant underwater museum, a war grave, a unique piece of military history and an opportunity to step into the past during a period when the free world was under threat from one of the most tyrannous regimes of modern times.

TruckSunk by German bomber planes in World War Two, SS Thistlegorm has lain at the bottom of the sea for over sixty years. Located in the Straits of Gubal, Northern Red Sea this famous vessel has been the subject of much activity and drama during its two lives as both a seagoing merchant ship and as a world-class diving site.

Despite extensive public knowledge and interest in Thistlegorm, it will continue to inspire a sense of mystery. Jacques Cousteau's visit in 1955 remains the subject of much discussion and like the legend himself Thistlegorm continues to attract speculation and controversy from beyond the grave.

Divers can visit the wreck from Sharm El Sheikh by daily boat or during a weeklong safari. Located on a bed of just thirty metres in good visibility this is the perfect wreck dive where much of the original cargo still remains. The bow is just fifteen metres below the surface and the propeller at twenty-seven. Measuring over four hundred feet long, SS Thistlegorm often requires several dives to complete an extensive coverage, inside and out.

Currents may occasionally be strong; however, mooring lines tied by the guide allow divers to make a comfortable descent to the shelter of the wreck. Once inside, divers can explore the ship's holds where time has seemingly stood still. Motorbikes, trucks, guns and wartime cargo, never to reach its destination, lay stacked where it was loaded back in 1941.

BSAIt must be said, that even after several hundred dives on Thistlegorm, such is the allure it holds for divers, that there is always something new to see. Very recently, a local diver claims that he stumbled across a newly discovered locomotive some one hundred and fifty metres from the wreck. The race is on to reach and photograph the engine together with the ship's funnel, both of which, allegedly, are still attached to the deck blown clean off the ship by the explosion.

Thistlegorm is visited regularly within our liveaboard programmes contact us at [email protected] for more details.