Today I’d like to show you my photos from the only Red Sea shipwreck the windy weather permitted us to visit on last weeks red sea trip, the SS Thistlegorm. Arguably one of the most interesting wrecks in the world, not least due to its amazing contents. Build in 1940 as a merchant vessel, the ship was armed with anti-aircraft guns and chock full of army supplied when it got bombed in 1941. Inside you can see the remains of Motor bikes, trucks, welly boots, racks of rifles, shells, tanks, aircraft wings and even a couple of trains! The wreck is famous & unique enough to have its own website and plenty of books about its history & contents. The most well-known of these is SS Thistlegorm – The True Story of the Red Sea’s Greatest Shipwreck. by John Kean (who incidentally taught me to dive)!
You cannot see it in my photo of the stern below, but the top corner of the prop is shiny from where the dive guides rub the edge as they go past as a gesture of respect to the 9 crew who lost their lives when she sank.
There are many bikes on here, some more photogenic than others. The one pictured at the top of this post is lit with a strobe behind the wheels for a slightly different look than you normally see in photos. These bikes below are some of the few which still have their head lamps.
We got quite a few dives on here and I was even able swim down to one of the trains (which I’ve never seen before due to current and bottom time constraints (its down at about 30m).
There are plenty of trucks on there. In fact there are two levels and three holds. Hold one has a really good truck that I wanted to visit but that area under the water tank has become unstable so we were advised not to visit that section. Hold 2 has most of the interesting bikes and the lower level of hold two has some really great rows of trucks. I experimented with an off camera strobe inside the far cab of these two here:
I really liked this truck with its bonnet crumbling away too. These are pretty deep and in the dark of the lower level you have to watch your bottom time. We were diving on Nitrox but even so didn’t get long…
Unfortunately people have stolen most of the steering wheels from the trucks and there are only two remaining. Lets hope people keep their thieving mitts of those last two!
I didn’t get a chance to swim up to the bow outside but I think the stern end with the guns is much more interesting anyway.
I hoped you enjoy my photographs from this wreck. Please leave me any comments below :) Tomorrow I hope to post about the schooling Snapper at Ras Mohammad.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that all of the amazing Black & White conversion was done by my own person photoshop guru, Michael Toye. If you’re interested he offers a retouching, finishing and black & white conversion service for photos which you can contact him about here.