Diving in Hurghada
El Mina Wreck
This Red Sea dive site features the wreck of an Egyptian minesweeper ship which sank just outside the harbour in Hurghada. It is named after its location, El Mina meaning "the harbour" in Arabic. It was a 58m long ship which was attacked by Israeli phantom jets (during the war between Egypt and Israel) and sunk while at anchor. The date of the sinking is a matter of some debate but seems to have been in 1967 or 1973. Nowadays, it is a perfect site for a wreck dive.
There is a mooring line, down which divers descend to the stern of the boat at a depth of approximately 18-20m. The ship lies on its port side and your dive may start by inspecting the propellers which, as with the rest of this young wreck, are in very good condition. Although there is not a huge amount of marine life on this site, it is of interest particularly to wreck aficionados.
Visibility is normally good at this Hurghada dive site, allowing you to have a clear look at almost half of the entire wreck from the stern. Watch out for a few pufferfish hanging around the stern area, as if patrolling the divers' descent. After spending few minutes around the stern, you can begin moving around the wreck keeping it on your right shoulder, descending to a depth between 25-30m (considering the no-deco limits).
The contra air guns are clearly visible, as are many bullets now encrusted in corals. There is also a big anchor chain lying at the sea bottom. Moving forward towards the bow, it is possible to see a torpedo that has fallen off the boat. Once at the bow on the starboard side, you can clearly see the blow that took the ship down, and it is worth looking inside with a torch.
As the minutes at depth pass by, it will soon be time to ascend over the bow by swimming towards the rear of the boat again. Coral growth has started forming over the superstructure of the boat and there is good chance to see several pipefish crawling around as well as ghostpipefish. Cleaner shrimp can be spotted in various nooks and crannies and large numbers of glassfish also lurk in the calmer crevices.
El Mina Basics: Wreck dive
Depth: 18 - 35m
Visibility: 15 - 25m
Surface conditions: Generally calm
Water temperature: 22 - 28°C
Experience level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 1 km (¼ hr) east of Hurghada
Access: Daytrips and liveaboards
• Hurghada travel information
View a map of:
• Sinai Peninsula - Egypt
Back to diving in Hurghada index