The Chrisoula K is a popular wreck located in Sha’ab Abu Nuhas, right next to other famous shipwrecks of the northern Red Sea: the Kimon M, the Carnatic, and the Giannis D. The Chrisoula K was over 100 metres long and 15 metres wide, with a nine-cylinder diesel engine - still visible today - capable of producing more than 2,500 bhp. It sailed as a cargo ship for almost 30 years before its collision with the shallows of the Gulf of Suez. It now rests covered in corals on the bottom close to the wall, at a depth ranging from 12 to 28 metres, accessible by divers with second-level certifications.
The final days of the Chrisoula K have much in common with the other wrecks of Abu Nuhas. Loaded with ceramic tiles crafted in Italy, the Chrisoula K - under the command of Captain Kanellis - was making its way from Italy to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia through the Strait of Suez. Apparently, after passing through the Suez Canal, the captain turned the helm to the second-in-command and retired for some rest. Soon after, the ship struck the northeastern corner of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas, opening an irreparable breach in the ship’s bow. The ship soon began sliding underwater at the stern and landed on the reef’s bottom 28 metres below the surface. This occurred on the 1st of September 1981.
The Chrisoula K is often referred to as the “tiles wreck” due to its cargo that is still visible in the holds and scattered throughout the seafloor. The bow of the ship used to be visible atop the reef, but years of waves and exposure to the elements completely destroyed it, leaving almost nothing to see. The ship’s midsection lies in a sailing stance, while its stern leans almost completely onto the starboard side. It is advisable to access the dive site with a liveaboard on a calm-weather day.
The dive begins with a descent directly onto the ship’s stern, which is also the deeper part. At a depth of 26-28 metres, divers can observe the large propeller and the rudder. With the proper training and equipment, it is possible to penetrate the engine room. The environment can be disorienting due to the ship’s inclination, and there’s a chance of stirring up silt if not careful. However, the ship’s interior - especially the engineering compartments - offers divers plenty to see.
Moving toward the bow and ascending to a shallower depth, divers have the chance to enter into the cargo holds where the cargo of tiles is contained. The bow section is a great place to explore while releasing some of the nitrogen accumulated at depth. Here, the shallower depth and the proximity to the reef provide a stunning environment teeming with life, the perfect place to spend a relaxing safety stop before surfacing.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.