The East Coast of the UAE is mainly known, among divers, for the beauty of its recreational dives, however, for those certified as PADI TecRec Divers, there are a number of hidden wrecks worth a visit!
Normally classified as a recreational dive, this is also a great wreck for honing your Tec skills and/or ‘warming up’ when arriving on holiday or after a period of inactivity. Inchcape 1 is a tug boat that sits at 30m depth, just off the coast of Al Aqah.
During the dive you will be pleased to encounter different sea creatures including, seahorses, frogfish and pufferfish. For Tec purposes, it is recommended not to dive during peak hours on a Friday and Saturday due to the high volume of divers.
The Ines was anchored 8 miles off Fujairah when an explosion and consequent fire occurred. The ship later sank on 9th August 1999 and now sits upside-down at 72m on a sandy bottom.
The propeller at 54m is the first part of the wreck you encounter during the dive and it is often rich in marine life such as jacks, tuna, rays, guitar sharks, hamour and – if you are lucky -sun fish and whale sharks.
The wreck offers numerous penetration opportunities in the holds, engine room and accommodation decks. The wreck can be extremely silty inside and the use of a line is a must for divers during any penetration.
This site is quite popular among the technical diving community in the UAE, therefore proper planning and coordination with other Tec divers is highly recommended.
Additionally, when planning the dives, consider diving at slack tides as the currents can be very strong. The wreck can be classified as a dive for experienced Tec Divers as it requires the use of mixed gases and decompression stops.
Approximately 12 miles from Fujairah, the Anita’s wreck sits upright on a sandy seabed at 90m depth with the bridge, at the shallowest part, at 82m .The Anita sank in 1997 after striking a mine. The explosion occurred behind the bow and below the bridge causing the bridge to bend forward at about 30 degrees.
The Anita was an oil field service vessel and, as such, has a very large and flat deck behind the bridge running all the way to the stern. Engine exhausts can be seen on each side of the deck about 2/3m from the bridge.
Penetration with diving equipment is limited to the bridge, no attempt (as far as we are aware) has been made to access the engine room due to the small access hatch and the extreme depth of this dive.
The wreck can be classified as a dive for experienced Tec Divers as it requires the use of mixed gases and decompression stops. On top of that the complexity of the dive can easily increase due to hard to predict currents found in the Arabian Sea below 80 metres.
The U-533 was sunk on 16th October, 1943 during its second patrol in the Arabian Gulf. The submarine spent approximately 10 days in the gulf and after passing Oman it was destroyed as a result of a surprise attack by a Royal British aircraft which dropped depth-charges on the U-Boat as it crashed-dived. Only two members of the crew succeeded in leaving the boat, and one of these, the First Lieutenant, did not survive.
The U boat lies at 112m at approximately 25 nautical miles from the east coast of Fujairah. Due to its depth, logistics required and possible strong currents, this dive is only recommended to very experienced Tec Divers.
On top of the wrecks listed above, there are also some great reefs (between 40 and 50m) which deserve to be explored. For example, Cauliflower Garden: a sandy bottom surrounded by large teddy bear Cauliflower corals and populated by marine species such as: razor fish, sole flat fish, crocodile fish and for those macro lovers, there are white crabs to see.
If you are a PADI TecRec Diver willing to dive these wrecks or you are a recreational diver willing to venture into Tec Diving, get in contact with one of the PADI TecRec Centers in the area. You can find a Dive Shop using the PADI Dive Shop Locator. Enter the location/ click on ‘show search filters’ / select ‘Tec Center’.