To most divers familiar to the Red Sea, this iconic wreck needs no introduction. It is a must-dive on quite a number of peoples to-do list, and whether you like wreck diving or not, it is just incredible. Sunk in the same way as the ‘Rosalie Moller’ – just 48 hours and a few miles apart – The Thistlegorm truly is one of the best dives in the World. It was carrying cargo for the War Effort in North Egypt, and every dive is a visit to an underwater museum, a place in time where the clocks stopped. Locomotives, various ammunition and Lee Enfield rifles, Bedford trucks, Triumph motorbikes and even airplane wings can still be found in The Thistlegorms cavernous holds.
It was built by Joseph Thompson & Sons of Sunderland and launched in June 1940. She was 126.5m in length and displaced 4,898 gross tonnes. Powered by a triple-expansion, 3 cylinder steam engine that generated a very comfortable 365 nominal horsepower. She was one of a number of “Thistle” ships owned and operated by the Albyn Line. With her construction being part funded by the British Government, however, she was destined for “War” duties from the moment she was launched.