The SS Dunraven was built in the shipyard of Mitchell, Newcastle, in 1873. This 82 meter long steam boat, that also used sails, was dedicated to the transport of spices, wood and cotton from Bombay to Newcastle.
In March 1876 the Dunraven sailed through the north of the Red Sea when it hit the southern side of the extensive reef Sha’ab Mahmud. The moments following the accident are contradictory and the most reliable story states that the ship remained aground for several days until it caught fire and ended up sliding to the bottom of the reef, where it lies today.
Diving the SS Dunraven
This is not one of the most famous wrecks of the Red Sea and is sometimes dismissed as it is thought to have little to offer. But if the diving is well planned you may find that it can be as attractive as other well known wrecks in the Red Sea.
The hull of the Dunraven, located between 18 and 30 meters deep, is covered with soft corals and offers you the possibility of diving inside through the stern and see how it still maintains its colorful propeller and rudder. In this area it is common to find huge batfish and groupers. Once inside, you’ll see beautiful lights coming through a large crack in the hull. Be careful because after more than a century sunken the danger of collapse is permanent.
You can also get into the boiler and engine room where you will realize you are getting immersed in naval history. Around the wreck you can enjoy precious views of thousands of small glass fish and a seabed full of life in where you can also see the remains of the mast. In the bow section there are still the anchor chains adorned with soft corals and where dwell batfish, scorpion fish or crocodile fish.