|Location||270 42.190N, 330 07.355E||Length||79.6 m|
|Launch||1 dec 1873||Width||9.8 m|
|Lost||28 jan 1881||Displacement||1613 ton|
|Difficulty||Average||Min Depth||17 m|
|Current||None or light||Max Depth||27 m|
|Night Dive||Not possible||Lights daytime||Not nessecairy|
|Other points of interest||None|
The ‘Dunraven’ was built by ‘Mitschel & Company in Newcastle-upon-Tyne’. She was launched in December 1873. Also, the ‘Dunraven’ was a so called ‘iron screw steamer: planked’ just as the Kingston. In short, we place a steam engine on board but it is also we rigged as a Topsail Schooner with two masts. Sailing was cheap are always working. So, a pretty modern and hip ship! However, sailors did not trust those new steam engines for a bit!
The steam engine was developed from around 1840 perfectioned. In the beginning it was with a lot of trial and error but eventually evolved to a more reliable engine. However, sailing was still the main propulsion for ships. Around 1870 it was just in between development. Not only the reliability of the engines was a problem, also the soot of the engine polluted the sails or worst case set them on fire!
The ‘Dunraven’ was set to work at the Bombay route, so between England and India. Strange thing is that the ‘Dunraven’ cannot be found on the Admiralty chart.
The loss of the Dunraven
On 8 April 1876 the ‘Dunraven’ left Bombay, loaded with ‘general valuable cargo for Liverpool’. The ships log reports on 24 April ‘Weather fine and clear, wind light, smooth wind, no sails set, vessel proceeding at full speed of six knots. Everything seemed fine and at 01:00 the second mate wrote ‘Shadwan Island’ in the log. 50 minutes later a light was reported as ‘Ashrafi Light’, way ahead in the Strait of Gobal.
Unfortunately, he was wrong…
Around 3.40 the ‘Dunraven’ hit the reef at the southern point of the Sinai Peninsula.
The hull was badly damaged. At 7:00 the water reached the engine room and extinguished the fire on the fireplace of the boiler. No power was left to run the pumps and the ‘Dunraven’ was doomed. In the afternoon at 16:00 luckily a dhow come aside to pick up the crew and at 17:00 the ‘Dunraven’ slipped off the reef and sank to its current location.
Diving the Dunraven
Unfortunately, the ‘Dunraven’ is almost complete upside down, with her port side running parallel to the reef. The minimum depth is 17 meters, the deepest point on 30 meters. The hull is beautifully overgrown with corals at the outside en offers a great diversity of life. The hull itself is broken to pieces. You can enter the hull, but it is advised to do that only at the back side of the ship because of the shape of the hull. It is better to stay outside and peek inside and enjoy the marine life. Be aware of stone fish and lion fish which mostly can be found in or around the wreck. Midship (use the chimney as a reference point) you can find the engine room with the two big boilers who actually preventing the hull to collapse. Normally you can enjoy big schools of glassfish. From that point on it is possible ti enter the hull land swim to the rear end. Unfortunately, most of the copper parts are long gone with which the ‘Dunraven’ has lost most of its charm. However, still this is a nice wreck to visit some time.
Different hard- and soft corals.
In the wreck and shadow glass fish, lion fish hand stone fish.
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