Divers With The Carnatic
It seems that the Carnatic was a long-forgotten part of Egypt’s maritime heritage until Divers, searching for a much later shipwreck happened upon her remains. It was then the subsequent research which revealed this tragic, yet fascinating story from another age of shipping and another age of Diving. Many accounts, however, still describe the wreck as being in two separate halves – but then she did break in two with each “half” sinking separately.
Visiting the wreck, however, will reveal what must be one of the most incredible postscripts to any shipwreck story – because, today, the two halves of the Carnatic have fallen to the seabed just as they might have done had they gone down as one piece.
I was visiting the Red Sea as a guest of Diving World and spending a week on board their luxurious live-aboard Diving boat “Miss Nouran.” Our Dive Guide was that very popular Instructor Ali Baba from whom I learned a great deal. He explained that, with prevailing winds being generally from the north, our Skipper – Captain Mohammed Hassan would carefully lay out two anchors onto the sand and allow the wind the push the boat gently back towards the Reef – thus presenting the dive platform right above the wreck and avoiding any contact whatsoever with the Corals.
I became very impressed with the way in which these two experts worked together and took great pride in getting each separate set of circumstances down to a fine art – but then they regard both the corals and the wrecks as far too important to damage!
The Carnatic lies parallel with the base of Abu Nuhas Reef. She is on her port side with the bows facing east and the stern west. Bearing in mind the manner of her sinking, there are three distinct elements to this dive – with the fore and aft sections still largely intact and these being joined together by the very badly damaged area – where the ship broke and, once, the engine room was found.