The Thistlegorm was built in 1940 as a merchant vessel. She was 126m long and 17.5m wide and was commandeered by the navy during the World War II. In October 1941 the vessel had made its way round Africa and into the Red Sea and was on route to Lybia, with a cargo intended for British troops stationed there. She anchored on the holding area, safe anchorage F, with the intention of moving North ward towards the Suez Canal.
In the early hours of the 6th October two German bombers from Crete were out looking for a large ship rumored to be in the area and came across the Thistlegorm. The bombs landed in hold number four, which contained the ammunition, ripping the stern section off and folding some of the deck back on itself. The ship went down and landed upright.
First dived by Cousteau in the 1950’s, its position was not rediscovered until the early 90’s. Since then it has become one of the most sought-after wrecks to dive. The holds are open and easily accessed showing the full range of cargo carried – trucks, motorbikes, plane wings, engines, trains and tenders, Wellington boots and waders!! plus ammunition and armoured vehicles.
Currents can be very strong in this area and the dive itself reaches a depth of 29m, which is where the stern came to rest, due to these factors it is recommended that this dive is for experienced divers.