Shag Rock Egypt information, tours, prices and online booking
Shag Rock Egypt located in Sharm El Sheikh on the Egyptian Red Sea coast. In fact, refers to two reefs located on the south-western side of the Sinai Peninsula tip. It can accessed by boat from Sharm but it is usually listed on most of the live-aboard and diving safari tours in the Red Sea. The site holds its name after the numerous shags, or cormorants which were frequent visitors of the reefs. Divers usually prefer to dive the southern reef along its east side; additionally to housing amazing hard and soft coral formations, the site is also full of pelagic. There are also sea cucumbers, sweetlips and butterfly fish. In the northern part of Shag Rock lies the 18th century steamship boat Carina. In the eastern part of Shag Rock Egypt, lies the Kingston Wreck, also called the Sarah H wreck.
More information about Shag Rock Egypt (Carina Wreck):
In fact, Carina Wreck lies on the northern side of Shag Rock. Carina was originally part of a large star constellation, Argo Navis. What is clear from the wreckage is that it was a large sail and steam ship from around the 1880 era. A large number of household bricks scattered amongst the wreckage refer that this was its cargo. The stern area still houses the propeller making it barely discernable from the rest of the wreckage. This site fed by strong currents and if they run, it is important that your dive guide drops you to the north of the wreckage. So, you at least get some time to drift over it before heading down the east side of the reef in a southerly direction. Normally the dive boats will drop you off and then go and moor further down around the east side of the reef.
You make a “one way dive” back to your boat from your drop point. The current is running at around 2.5 knots past the wreckage. A steady knot or so down the east side make for an effortless cruise along the reef. This is a shallow dive with the majority of the wreckage in 10m or less. The edge of the reef at a similar depth of 12-14m. It makes for a good dive of the day or dusk dive. It will be before heading to Sha’ab Ali to moor for the night and get an early start on the SS Thistlegorm. You can also cross the Straights of Gubal back towards Hurghada. The corner of the reef where the wreckage lies slopes gently up. It is with table coral after table coral overlaid.
Further details about Carina Wreck:
In fact, it does have some of the best examples of hard coral in the area. The lack of a distinguishable break between sea floor and reef wall means it’s best to stick within visibility distance of the upwards sloping reef. In fact, it will be on your right shoulder, although if you do fancy some compass work, the coral garden to the east is lovely. If you get lost surface conditions are generally good for a boat pick up and other boat traffic is very minimal.
The site facts:
- Dive Site Name: Carina
- Location: Shag Rock Egypt, 27°47’45″N; 33°51’22″E
- Description: 18th Century steamship
- Length: 40 – 50 meters (130 – 165 feet)
- Depth: 10 meters (30 feet)
- Visibility: 30 meters (100 feet)
Further information about Shag Rock Egypt (Kingston Wreck):
The wreck of the Kingston lies on the eastern side of Shag Rock. The Kingston is a very old wreck and built in the early 1870’s. You will often hear that it referred to as the Sara H, or Sarah H. This label actually came about in the absence of correct identification in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s. The Kingston is a twin mast steamship, 80 meters in length. Moreover, it is with a beam of 10m and it ran into the reef at Shag Rock on Feb 22nd 1881. Many of the wrecks in the Red Sea did not sink immediately. It took 2 days for it to finally accept its fate before it settled upright in only 18m of water (at the stern) on the gently sloping reef wall. The wreck is fairly intact, although its twin masts and funnel have long since gone.
The prop makes for some great photographs with the sunlight penetrating the relatively shallow waters. Amidships there is a second prop which for some reason transported along with its cargo of coal. Despite its shallow location diving the Kingston can be challenging. Its position on the edge of the Gubal Straights means that the area can experience extremely strong currents. Dive boats will often moor around the southern side of Shag Rock Egypt after dropping divers to the north of the wreck. If the dive vessel has a tender (RIB), this can used to ferry divers to the wreck site. If the current runs it will normally be north to south. So, get your dive boat to drop you to the north of the actual wreck. And then, drift at a depth of about 15 meters onto the wreck.
More details about Kingston Wreck:
The belly of the wreck is very open and the wreck lies perpendicular to the normal currents. So, you can dive inside the wreck or along the starboard side. You can also seek effective protection from the current – allowing plenty of time to explore. Then simply drift of the wreck and head south (reef to left shoulder) along the coral encrusted gentle slope. The stony corals here are stunning with layer upon layer of acropora table corals covering the southeast corner. The Kingston is an ideal second or third dive of the day, after a visit to S.S Thistlegorm.
The site facts:
- Dive Site Name: Kingston
- Location: Shag Rock Egypt, 27°46’42″N; 33°52’36″E
- Description: 18th Century steamship
- Length: 80 meters (262 feet)
- Depth: 20 meters maximum at the stern (65 feet)
- Visibility: 20 – 30 meters (65 – 100 feet)