Wreck Carnatic


Access: Boat

Max. depth: 30 m   

Skills level: Guided Advanced Open water Diver


A casualty of the Sha’ab Abu Nuhas reef the Carnatic, a Peninsular and Oriental Mail Steamship, met its dome on the 13 September 1869. The ship was on route to Bombay and had left Suez in calm seas and pleasant weather. A navigational error by Captain P.B. Jones, R.N.R. seems to be the only contributory factor. The weather being so calm it was considered safe for the 230 passengers and crew to stay aboard. Unfortunately, that night the ship suddenly broke in two and although most survived, 27 souls were lost.

The Carnatic weighed in at 1,776 tons and had a length of 90 meters. After the fatal breaking in two the boat sank on the coral slope and only the forward yardarm showed above the water. Salvage operations were carried out, mainly to recover the cargo of gold she carried then worth a small fortune of £40,000. It is suggested that only £32,000 was recovered and that the rest lies with the wreck. She finally sank to the sea bed in March 1870 breaking into three sections and she lies with her stern at 24 meters and bows in 18 meters.