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Underwater Photo Location: Million Hope Nabq Sharm El Sheikh

Underwater Photo Location: Million Hope Nabq Sharm El Sheikh

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The Million Hope Wreck






Location:


28 03' 42" N, 34 26' 40"E. Southern Gulf of Aqaba on east coast of Sinai Peninsular




Access:


Day boat from Sharm El Sheikh




Minimum Depth to Wreck


0m (Superstructure above water level)




Maximum Depth to Seabed:


22m (at stern)




Average Visibility:


20-25m




The Ship


Built in Japan, as a Bulk Carrier with additional facilities for transporting vehicles, the Million Hope was launched as the "Ryusei Maru" in 1972. She was a very large ship - displacing 26,181 grt and measuring 174.6m x 24.8m with a draught of 10m. Her bridge castle is located at the stern behind 5 cargo holds - in between which are four massive cranes towering high above the decks. The ship was powered by two 6 Cylinder diesel engines capable of producing 11,600 bhp and a top speed of 17 knots.


The ship had several names during her lifetime before being purchased by the Aksonas Shipping Co Ltd of Limassol, Cyprus for 136 million in 1996. It was at this time she was finally renamed "Million Hope" and promptly insured for 41 Million. Only six weeks later, she became a constructive total loss.


The Loss of the Million Hope


Loaded with a 26,000 ton cargo of Potash and Phosphates, the Million Hope sailed from Jordan's only port of Aqaba on 19 June 1996 - destination Taiwan. Visibility, however, quickly deteriorated and early on 20 June the vessel struck the inshore Reef near Nabq - on the western shores of the Gulf of Aqaba, approx. 3 miles north of Sharm El Sheikh.


Lloyds List dated 24 June 1996 carried the following item under "Casualty Report:"


"MILLION HOPE "(Cyprus)


Jun 21: Egyptian Maritime Officials said yesterday they were concerned about possible leakage of about 23,000 tons of phosphate and potassium plus 700 tons of fuel from the bulk carrier Million Hope which sank off Egypts Sinai Peninsular, Cairo radio reported. All 25 members of the crew ere rescued by Egyptian naval vessels and other vessels in an operation that lasted more than 20 hours. The vessel, on voyage from Jordan to Taiwan, was ripped open by coral reefs near Egypts Sharm El-Sheikh resort. The vessels mainly Filipino crew huddled in the stern and refused to abandon ship until it became clear the vessel would sink, Cairo radio said. Some of the crew accused the vessels master of failing to follow the areas prescribed navigation routes and of maintaining speed despite poor visibility."


The cargo actually comprised 15,000 tons of Potash and 11,000 tons of phosphate rock and the big concern was that this would slowly dissolve in seawater - producing an algae-like film that would blot out essential sunlight from all adjacent reefs. Major Salvage companies were, therefore, invited to tender for the salvage of this cargo which was separately valued at 1.3 million. This operation was successfully carried out.
With much of her superstructure still out of the water, the Million Hope can be seen from several miles away. She is basically upright but with a pronounced list to port - i.e. away from the Reef. Her entire starboard side rests against the reef on which she foundered and her keel lies along the seabed at the base of that reef at between 19 - 24m. Her decks are underwater but not the focsle. Apart from fairly superficial damage, the vessel is completely intact - with no evidence of salvage.
Facts about Million Hope Nabq Sharm El Sheikh
  • It is in Egypt
  • Million Hope Nabq Sharm El Sheikh is in the Red Sea.
  • The typical depth is 0-30 Metres 0-100 Feet.
  • The typical visibility is 30+ Metres 100+ Feet.
Dive types
dayboatshorewrecknightdrift

Marine Life
bigsmalldolphinsturtlescoralstinging

Diving facilities
airnitroxinstructionguided

Photo facilities
macrowideanglefilminstruction

by Cinzia Bismarck
Sunset on Million Hope Wreck

by Cinzia Bismarck
Divers around Million Hope wreck
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