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Diving the thistlegorm

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SS. Thistlegorm

The SS Thistlegorm was a British merchant navy ship that was sunk by German bombers during World War

  • 2 hours
  • 190 euros
  • Al Motelat

Service Description

The SS Thistlegorm was a British cargo steamship built in North East England in 1940. It was sunk by German bomber aircraft in the Red Sea in 1941, and its wreck near Ras Muhammad The body’s blood runs slow and deep at 4 am. Outside it’s cold and dark and the sun will not show itself for another couple of hours. Most people, the sensible ones at least, are still in bed, wrapped in their duvets, wrapped in the arms of loved ones, wrapped in the bliss of sleep and dreams. And yet across Sharm, numerous guests are shuffling bleary-eyed to their hotels lobbies, breakfast boxes in hand and the feeling that somewhere someone is having a laugh at their expense. Why are people forsaking their beauty sleep and the warmth of their beds then? Easy. To dive the SS Thistlegorm. Laying at 30 meters in the Strait of Gubal and forty kilometers as the crow flies from Sharm el-Sheikh (hence the early start), this British merchant navy ship has become, in a relatively short time, an icon of diving in the Red Sea, and is without doubt Egypt’s most famous wreck, if not one of the world’s most famous. A Short History The Thistlegorm belonged to the Albyn Line Company, a Scottish shipping company. The Albyn Line launched a total of 18 ships in their Thistle series (the thistle is the national flower of Scotland and the reason why the Albyn Line took the thistle as their company’s logo) and each was given a Gaelic suffix such as the Thistleroy (Roy meaning red) and Thistlegorm (gorm meaning blue). Launched on 9th April 1940, this three-cylinder, triple expansion steamship, capable of reaching an output of 1,850 Hp and an approximate speed of 10.5 knots was assigned transport duties of war materials for the Allied Forces at the beginning of World War II. To protect herself from attacks, she was fitted with a 4.7-inch light anti-aircraft gun and a 40 mm machine gun. In May 1941, the Thistlegorm, with a crew of 39 men under the command of Captain William Ellis, left the port of Glasgow in Scotland and headed toward Alexandria in Egypt as part of a 16-ship convoy taking much-needed supplies to the British 8th Army stationed in Egypt and eastern Libya (at the time known as Cyrenaica). Prior to this voyage, the Thistlegorm had successfully completed three journeys (to the U.S., Argentina, and Antilles respectively) but this voyage would prove to be her last and final voyage. Note: The Price on the home page is in addition to the daily diving rate.

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Contact Details

  • Red Sea Marine Diving Center, Al Motelat, Sharm Al Shiekh, Egypt


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