Wreck diving in the Red Sea is simply some of the best in the world – warm, clear blue water, colourful reefs close by and a fascinating story behind every one of them.
We’ve been exploring the Red Sea since 2005 and the Giannis D (often spelt Ghiannis D) is one of our favourite wrecks. She is the “first” wreck of the famous Sha’ab Abu Nuhas, located on the far right hand side of the reef.
The Giannis D is one of the most famous and favourite wrecks of the Red Sea. 99m in length and 16 metres in beam, she was built in Japan in 1969 and sailed under the name Shoyo Maru until 1975 when she was sold and renamed Markus. In 1980 she was sold to a Greek shipping company and renamed Giannis “D”.
Her final voyage was from Yugoslavia where she had taken on a cargo of wood and was bound for Yemen. After traveling through the Suez canal, she reached the rather narrow Straits of Gubal before reaching open sea. After setting the ship on course, the captain turned the helm over to one of his junior officers whilst he retired to his cabin. Unfortunately the Giannis D drifted off course, in a westerly direction and ran full steam into the north western edge of Sha’Abu Nuhas Reef.
She struck the reef on 19 April 1983 and lies broken into three parts. The stern lies at 24 metres. The bow lies on its port side and the superstructure lies at a 45 degree angle. You can see the ship’s bent propellor partially buried in the sand at the bottom. The deck is covered with deck fittings, bollards and boat davits.
A penetration dive in this wreck is easy, although can be quite disorientating due to the angle at which the wreck lies. You are able to enter via the pilothouse and then go down into the engine room to see the engines. It is therefore important that you take a torch along on this dive 😀
A dive on this wreck usually lasts about 60 minutes. Entry is via a backward roll from an RIB which will take you to the site from the liveaboard. There can sometimes be a lot of wind and strong current so it is important to descend quickly. Ascent is usually up the shot line tied close to the command bridge, where you can do your safety stop and enjoy your last glimpses of this fascinating wreck.
Marine life is plentiful with glassfish inside the wreck, scorpion fish, angelfish, anemone fish, batfish, crocodile fish and blue spotted stingrays on the sand. Dolphins are often encountered on a dive at this reef. There are some nice bubble anemones lying on the wreckage that are home to twobar anemonefish.
To dive the Giannis D as well as the other world-famous wrecks of the Red Sea, please join us on our next liveaboard trip to the Red Sea. For more details, pricing and to book your spot, please click here.