Place Category: Hurghada / El Gouna
Just east of Hurghada harbour, El Mina is an Egyptian minesweeper sunk around 1969 by Israeli fighter planes. She rests on a rocky seabed sloping from 25m under the bow to 32m at the stern. The wreck lies on a northwest-southeast axis on her portside. There has been an attempt in the past to rename her ‘The Israeli Torpedo Boat’ but it should be obvious that her starboard anchor and a hundred metres of chain are paid out, hardly a fighting manoeuvre. Also there is no hardware for the firing of the alleged torpedoes.
It is always calm here, in fact the wreck is a bad weather alternative for those turning back from a blown out trip to the wrecks at Abu Nuhas. Current can scream through here from the north, but there is always shelter behind the decks of the wreck. Visibility is usually somewhere between poor and disastrous.
The wreck is only 60-70m long, so no need to rush. The aft section is bristling with winches and anti-air-craft guns whilst the fore-deck guns have been sheared off. The blast-hole area is suitable for penetration, though else where it is inadvisable. All around, on the seabed are live shells – look but don’t touch.
The wreck is generally fish-free and surprisingly unencrusted by coral except for a few notable exceptions. The blast-hole allows vast hoards of Glassfish to shelter from groups of marauding Jackfish. In this area is also a lone Anemone. Leave the Clownfish alone, it is already exhausted from defending its turf against dozens of divers every day. Instead, go and have a look under the flukes of the anchor (not the paid out one). It harbours a thicket of Black Urchins amongst whose spines lurk several Cleaner Shrimps.