Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea - Ned Middleton
September 2006, Immel Publishing

Shipwrecks From the Egyptian Red Sea - Find it on Welcome to the new Egyptian Red Sea wreck bible.

A big claim?
Sure, but one that Ned Middleton has pulled off quite comprehensively.
If you are planning a dive trip to the Egyptian Red Sea, simply put, this book is an absolute must.

If you are 'into wrecks' then this shows how all the others should be done

There have been numerous books written on this subject, with accompanying photos / diagrams / 'facts' etc., but none have come even remotely close to the level of detail and accuracy afforded by Ned Middleton's latest offering.

As anyone who has ever met Ned will know, his passion and determination for factually correct information knows no bounds. His utter enthusiasm for the subject is second to none. All of this passion, enthusiasm and drive has been channeled into this title and is abundantly evident from the moment you start turning the pages.

The fact that it has taken over 7 years for the book to finally make it to the shelves is testament to the attention to detail lavished on this title. From specially commissioned artwork by the legendary Rico Oldfield, to full accounts of the history and loss of the vessels, coupled with archival photos and documents, Ned has produced the first complete guide to diving the Egyptian Red Sea wrecks
Gone are all the mistakes, that even to this day, are still repeated on Red Sea dive briefings.
Gone are the incorrectly identified vessels with made-up names.
Gone are the confusing and incorrectly attributed photos against wrongly named ships.

What this book does offer is a list of the known diveable shipwrecks in this part of the world, their locations, dive details, their history, details of their last voyages and the circumstances of their final demise. Within, you will find 20, yes, that's right, 20 major shipwrecks (Agia Varvara, Million Hope, Hey Daroma, Zingara, Thistlegorm, Kingston, Dunraven, Ulysses, Rosalie Moller, Kimon M, Chrisoula K, Carnatic, Giannis D, Miniya, Salem Express, Numidia, Aida, Turbo, Zealot & Maidan), 18 minor wrecks (e.g. the barge at Bluff Point, Somaya 2, Jolanda etc) together with a list of all the charted wrecks in the Gulf of Suez. It lays bare all the painful factual inaccuracies that have persisted throughout all of the previous offerings on this subject, and frankly makes the competition look very amateur in comparison.

Accuracy is the key throughout. The artwork by Rico was especially commissioned and created from thousands of photos taken by the author and thus depict an uncannily accurate representation of the wrecks as they existed at that moment. Obviously as time passes and the wrecks deteriorate, this will change. I challenge anyone to find a more accurate artists impression of these vessels anywhere.

There are two inclusions not dived by the author (the Zealot at Daedalus and the Maidan at Rocky Island, both in 70m+ of water), and this is clearly emphasised in the opening paragraph of that chapter. Does that mean they shouldn't be included? Hell no! You won't find these vessels in any other book to date, and even though they are mixed gas technical dives, make a very welcome addition.

All the popular wrecks are included, along with a host of others rarely dived. Each account usually contains a footnote that has updated details relating to the vessel's history, such is Ned's commitment to getting the most accurate details possible. Appendices are provided that detail other charted wrecks in the Red Sea - this book doesn't pretend to include every wreck, but does include all sport diveable wrecks that are currently known.

Amongst the appendices are the details of the sinking (1974) and re-floating (1978) of the Siris - a 29,500 tonne tanker that we were unable to locate (yeah, go figure....not being able to spot a h-u-g-e vessel such as the Siris, how lame is that?) around the Ashrafi area during a farcical search in 1999. It was good to find out why we couldn't find any trace of her!

If you want 'the bible' of Egyptian Red Sea Wrecks, then look no further. There is no other title on the subject that comes even remotely close to filling those boots than this one.
If you are to only buy one book on the Red Sea Wrecks, then this is it!
Put off by the price? Don't be. You're buying into the definitive guide. If you pay the RRP, then it works out at less than £1 per wreck.

Update...1st March 2008 - Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea has recently been awarded the prestigious "DIVER Publication of the Year (2007)" by UK diving magazine DIVER.

Artwork by Rico Oldfield. © Middleton / Oldfield. Reproduced with the authors permission.
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