Location: Sha’ab Abu Nuhâs
Description: Japanese freighter
Length: 100 metres
Depth: 4 metres to mast, 24 metres to sea floor
Visibility: 20 – 30 metres
Waterfront Safari date 13th April 2013 MY Mistral £1025 Spaces Available 2
Whilst your Safari Boat moors in the shallow still waters on the edge of the reef, you look out to a beautiful backdrop of mountains and a semi circular reef that has claimed ships as victims over the years. Dolphins are common here as they speed through the deep water channel between here and Gubal Island.
Launched in 1969 as the Shoyo Maru, the Giannis D was built by the Kuryshima Dock Company of Imabari, Japan. She was an 87 metres, 2932 ton, twin hold general cargo vessel, with a stern bridge and engine room. A 6 cylinder diesel engine gave her a top speed of 12 knots.
In 1975 she was sold and re-named the Markos, (not to be confused with the Marcus) until 1980, when the ship was sold on to the Dumarc Shipping and Trading Corporation of Piraeus, Greece and finally named Ghiannis D
Her final voyage came in April when carrying a cargo of wood, she departed from Croatia bound for Saudi Arabia and the Yemen. She passed through the Suez Canal and headed south through the Gulf of Suez. According to official reports, she suddenly veered off course, at full speed and headlong onto the north-west corner of Abu Nuhas Reef. The ship was written off as a total constructive loss and remained stranded atop the reef for several weeks afterwards. During a storm the ship broke in half and sank to the base of the reef.
Now laying between depths of 4m and 30m. Dives are made from Inflatable Zodiacs and more often that not will commence at the stern which is very much intact, though completely severed from the midships area which has virtually all broken up. The Giannis D, on Sha’ab Abu Nuhas, is one of the most picturesque wrecks in the Red Sea and is held in such high regard that it is many a divers’ favourite dive site in the Northern Red Sea.
The bow lies fully on its port side and the superstructure aft lies at about a 45-degree angle. At the stern, the ship’s bent propeller lies partially buried in the sand on the bottom. All along the deck areas on the aft section are deck fittings, bollards, winches, and the boat davits. Penetration into the superstructure is easiest by entering the pilothouse, which has been stripped of all of its equipment, and then heading aft and down the companionway into the engine room, which hasn’t been salvaged. Because of the angle of the ship it can become a bit disorienting for the first time wreck diver here. The engine room is filled with catwalks and handrails, all at odd angles, with the diesel engine lying to one side. Exit from the engine room can be easily made by ascending up through one of the skylights above the diesel where you find yourself beside the ship’s smokestack. The ship has been colonised by many soft corals and, consequently, many fish have made the freighter their home. You are likely to encounter schools of glassfish and anthias, lionfish, groupers and Napoleon fish. Bat Fish, Fusilier’s, Soft Corals and Moray eels too have made the hull of the Giannis D their home. The mast of the ship reaches upwards to almost 4-meters below the surface and is a good place to make your safety stop. Time to smile, relax, log the dive and enjoy a well earned cuppa.