01 November 2007


Thistlegorm off limits to divers for a month

ThistlegormThe wreck of the Thistlegorm will be closed to divers from 15th November till 15th December 2007. This is to allow for conservation measures that will help to preserve this historical and legendary wreck for the future. The closure is part of the new Saving The Red Sea Wrecks Campaign, launched by HEPCA (Hurghada Environment Protection and Conservation Association).

The campaign proposes a detailed plan to change in common vessel operational procedures that contribute to the degradation of the wreck. A complete educational and awareness program will also be rolled out to encourage more environmentally friendly briefings and best practice. The campaign will later target the Rosalie Moller and other Red Sea wrecks under threat.

During the intense conservation operation, the wreck of the Thistlegorm will acquire a complete buoy mooring system; separate descent and ascent lines; and air-escape outlets to allow for pockets of disposed air from scuba tanks to escape.

Hepca says "We have witnessed for too long the long-term effects of an unprecedented level of use on the SS Thistlegorm and many other wrecks in the Red Sea. Without the intervention of proper preservation management we will lose these valuable wrecks forever.

We hope that all diving operators and organisations will stand together to assist in the realisation of this unique operation and the Saving The Red Sea Wrecks Campaign."

The Thistlegorm has been voted one of the Top Ten Dives in the World. A British vessel, it was attacked from the air and sunk in 1941 whilst carrying a cargo of war supplies: rifles, motor bikes, train carriages, trucks. These are still inside the wreck.

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