Liveaboard Diving in Abu Nuhas
What to Expect on a Abu Nuhas Liveaboard
Abu Nuhas, also known as 'the Ships Graveyard' is a wreck divers delight. Located around 2 hours north of Hurghada, the name Abu Nuhas means "Father of Bad Luck", and with good reason! This submerged reef has caused the sinking of at least 5 ships here, including the oldest ship wreck available to divers in the Red Sea, the British cargo ship, the Carnatic.
The easiest way to dive the wrecks at Abu Nuhas is by liveaboard. Our dive safari yachts to the northern Sinai, departing from Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada, include this fabulous dive area in their itineraries.
Abu Nuhas Underwater
The highlights of diving Abu Nuhas are of course the wrecks, but due to the amount of time the wrecks have been underwater (the Carnatic sank in 1869), there is abundant marine life and beautiful vibrant corals that have encrusted the wrecks over the years.
Dive Sites Of Abu Nuhas
The 4 wrecks below are the main reason people dive Abu Nuhas. Starting from oldest to newest....
The Carnatic is a favourite amongst Red Sea divers. She was en-route to India when in September 1869 she ran aground laden with gold, port wine and copper. She was initially balanced on top of the reef, but didn't stay there for long before breaking in half and resting next to the reef at around 25m/82ft. The 90m (297ft) passenger supply vessel lies on her port side, and is in good condition. Over 100 years later you can dive the whole length of the Carnatic, and her beams encrusted with soft coral and hydroids, whilst common inhabitants are nudibranchs, scorpionfish, sweepers, glassfish and batfish.
The Kimon M was a cargo ship transporting lentils from Turkey to Bombay when she met her fate on the Abu Nuhas reef in December 1978. She was travelling at full speed when she hit the north-east corner of the reef. Fortunately the passing cargo ship the 'Interasja' immediately responded to the distress calls and was able to take all the crew to safety to Suez. Now the Kimon M rests at around 32m/106ft on her starboard side. She is almost fully intact so makes an excellent dive with swim-throughs and interesting features.
On her final journey, the Chrisoula K, also known as the 'Tile Wreck', met her end in August 1981. She was a Greek freighter transporting Italian tiles to Jeddah, when she also collided with the the north-east corner of the Abu Nuhas reef at full speed. Fortunately, all the crew were rescued and the Chrisoula K now rests in an almost upright position in an open sandy area. She is extremely accessible for divers, with the deepest point being in 26m/86ft of water, and the shallowest part is only 3m/10ft below the surface. She is now encrusted with hard corals harboring flatworms, lionfish, triggerfish and clown sand wrasse and offers plenty of swim-throughs and penetration opportunities to her engine room.
Last, but certainly not least, is the famous Giannis D, a cargo vessel transporting timber when she sank in 1983. She lies at a 45 degree angle in 24m of clear water with the stern and bow still intact. Divers can easily explore the rooms and passageways, to discover schools of glassfish, scorpionfish, gobies, nudibranchs, octopus and giant moray eels, whilst her funnel with its famous "D" has been much photographed.
There are remnants of other wrecks in the area, which is no surprise as the Abu Nuhas reef is right in the shipping canal lane, but the above 4 are the most accessible for recreational divers.
Top Tips For Divers
Use the descent line if one is available. The line generally will take you to the start of the dive. Sometimes the visibility can be stirred up and if there is strong current the line will take you right to the start point
Be careful with wreck penetration. Make sure you listen carefully to the dive briefing as your guide will know where you can and can not go for your own safety. Some parts of the wrecks may be falling apart which can cause hazards, or there may be broken glass, nails or sharp objects around.
Monitor your air supply and watch your no-deco time more frequently. It is easy to lose track of time when diving a wreck, but easy to multi-level your dive to stay within no-deco limits, so make sure you come shallower when your dive computer tells you to.
Be sure to have an SMB. When exploring a wreck your surface point may not be at the same place as everyone else. Having an SMB means the boat will be able to spot you and your buddy and come and pick you up.
The best way to get to Abu Nuhas is by Red Sea liveaboard which will depart from either Sharm El Sheihk or Hurghada. Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh both have international airports and also serve domestic flights from Cairo.
Abu Nuhas Diving Reviews
- 9.2 Superb
- 24 Verified Reviews
Very good dives at Giannis D., Krisoula K. and so on.
Diving Abu Nuhas in July on the Red Sea Adventurer
3 incredible wrecks that never lose their charm. Throw in a pod of dolphins and it can't get any better
Diving Abu Nuhas in April on the Emperor Asmaa
We had very good visibility and I was able to get very nice photos.
Diving Abu Nuhas in July on the Red Sea Adventurer
Rough and an experience but that's just the weather. Getting to the sites on the rhib was an adventure but at all times the crew made it safe and enjoyable. The wrecks were great and easy to navigate.
Diving Abu Nuhas in December on the Emperor Elite
We did three of the four wrecks. My favourite: the 'Carnatic'.
Diving Abu Nuhas in November on the Emperor Superior