‘Wreck of the tiles’, is situated to the east of Carnatic, separated by a small reef ridge. What is the true identity of this ship? According to the general opinion we deal with the Chrisoula K The Chrisoula K. was built in the harbour of Lubecca in 1954 with a tonnage of 3,720, a length of 98 meters, a width of 14.8 meters and a 9-cylinder engine supplying 2,700 HP. The ship was launched with the name ‘Dora Oldendorf’, renamed ‘Anna Bin 1970, and
CHRISOULA K. Type of ship: cargo Nationality: German Year of construction: 1954 Length: 98 m Width: 14.8 m Tonnage: 3,720 t Date of shipwreck:
31st of August 1981 Depth: 4–26 m
then given the name ‘Chrisoula K.’ when the Greek Clarion Marine Company bought it in 1979. The vessel was on its way to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia with its cargo of 3,700 tonnes of Italian tiles. It ran aground on the north-eastern side of Abu Nuhas on 31st August 198|| whilst navigating at maximum speed and during a time when the captain had handed command to one of his officers and withdrawn to his cabin. A picture taken shortly after the shipwreck shows the bow of the Chrisoula K. smashed by the violent impact and stranded on
the reef. An examination of the ‘wreck of the tiles’ reveals, however, that the bow is still almost intact and the anchor chain comes out of
the starboard hawsehole, whereas on the photo showing the bow of the Chrisoula K. the anchor chain is on the port side. Additionally, the serial number of the engine corresponds to that of the cargo ship Marcus that was shipwrecked some years earlier than the Chrisoula K. In May 1978,’Marcus’ came from Suez and was on its way to Saudi Arabia with a cargo of tiles produced in Italy, just like the Chrisoula K, when it had some problems with the rudder during a storm and ran aground on the reef of Abu Nuhas. The violence of the impact caused the torsion of the quarterdeck now resting on the right side with the propeller at a depth of 27 meters, whereas the rest of the ship, intact, lies on the sandy seabed with the bow just below the surface at a depth of 4 meters. The exploration starts at the stern where you can see the enormous propeller with four blades and the rudder, intact. Proceed to starboard where you find a big loading derrick reclining on the bottom
and one of the two masts. Very interesting, but only for experienced wreck divers, is a visit to the engine room which is still in excellent condition even if the components, including a huge diesel engine, are covered by a thin muddy layer. The ship’s cargo still in the holds, comprised of banks of tiles stacked chaotically due to the terrible impact with the reef, is surrounded by glassfish. Apart from the encrusting red sponge and table corals, there are also some anemones with their Red Sea anemonefish (Amphiprion bicinctus) on the outside plates
and batfish (genus Platax) often pass by. The funnel rests on the sand (-19 m) and further on, towards the reef, you see another loading derrick (-15 m), whilst close to the bow on the starboard side a few meters from the surface, is the anchor chain laying on the reef. And the Chrisoula K.? The hull can be found on the sandy seabed at a depth of 60 meters, resting on its starboard side about 400 meters to the north of the reef.
Look out for
Comments. In the case of rough sea, divers should use a zodiac. • Use a good torch when penetrating the holds. Make sure not to stir up the thin muddy layer in the inside of the holds.
Features • Well conserved wreck, rich in reef fish, hard and soft corals. • There are some Garden eels coming out of the sand close to the anchor. • Substantial amount of glassfish in many parts of the ship.