Thistlegorm – One of the Best Wreck Dives in the World

The story…..

During World War II, the SS Thistlegorm was a British transport ship loaded with artillery and destined for Alexandria in Egypt. While moored at safe anchorage close to the Suez canal, she was discovered by a German bomber plane.

On the 6th of October 1941, two bombs were dropped which sank the Thistlegorm. Four sailors and five members of the Royal Navy gun crew died and the survivors were picked up by HMS Carlisle. Most of the cargo remained within the ship, the major exception being the steam locomotives from the deck cargo which were blown off to either side of the wreck.

Discovered by Jacues -Yves Cousteau

In the early fifties, the Thistlegorm was discovered by Jacques-Yves Cousteau suing information from local fisherman. He raised several items from the wreck including a motorcycle, the captain’s safe, and the ship’s bell which has all been documented in his book “The Living Sea”.

Diving the Wreck of the Thistlegorm

This is one of the highlights of any Northern Red Sea safari and is on many divers “bucket list”. 126m in length and lying in 30m of water, the SS Thistlegorm is full of unique artefacts including locomotives, tanks, army Bedford trucks, BSA motorcycles, Wellington boots, stacks of 0.303 rifles, ammunition, anti aircraft gun etc.

The wreck is also teaming with marine life such as Batfish, Barracuda, Snappers, Crocodile Fish, Jacks & other reef fishes.

It can be challenging diving this site as the current can sometimes be quite strong and the visibility variable. An Advanced qualification is recommended due to the depth of this site.