Thistlegorm Off Limits
One of Egypt’s most popular wreck is set to be made off limits for a month between 15th November 2007.
Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) has announced the closure of the wreck to allow for conservation work to be carried out, with the aim to prevent the damage the wreck is sustaining through the continuous mooring of vessels on the wreck.
To this end a new mooring system will be laid, requiring liveaboards to anchor at one of 8 mooring station, each station will accommodate 3 vessels making a total of 24 vessels moored at one time. Divers will then be dropped off by tender at buoyed dive lines.
Additional holes will also be drilled in the wreck at various points to allow trapped air from divers to escape and reduce the wreck erosion.
A new and improved blueprint will also be introduced to prepare visitors to dive s sympathetic profile while on the wreck.
Some have been surprised at the Egyptian authorities sanction of the closure of the wreck during the height of the diving season, expecting a more conservative approach of closing the during the end of January when the diving season has drawn to a close.
But HEPCA has succeeded in pushing through the measures, which it has described as "urgent", with near-immediate effect. The Thistlegorm will be shut at the height of the season.
The work is being carried out as part of the new Saving the Red Sea Wrecks campaign which, in Britain, will be launched by HEPCA and the Red Sea Non-Governmental Office at the Dive Show in Birmingham over 13/14 October.
Rea Sea Wrecks