The Wingate Reef is situated just outside Port Sudan harbour; it is where you will find the famous Umbria wreck. The Umbria was an Italian cargo ship scuttled in 1940; it lays intact into shallow water, allowing the divers to very long exploration time. It is a beautiful wreck and it hasn’t been spoilt by divers, especially by “souvenirs & brass seekers”. You can dive into its cargo holds and admire the amount of wine bottles and bombs carried, look at the huge coral encrusted brass propeller and, for the experienced divers, the engine room can be visited, corridors and cabins. Anyhow the Umbria is a wreck enjoyable by all levels of divers.
Sanganeb is a huge coral atoll with spectaculars plateaus, located in the North and South reef. There is a lighthouse built on top a cement platform and a visit here is compulsory! There are breathtaking drop-offs on these reefs and among the hundreds of different species of fish you can encounter the resident reef sharks. Sha’ab Rumi is a ‘must be’ for visitors. It is here where you will find the remains of Jacques Cousteau’s most famous expedition, the Precontinent II, where divers attempted to make a long living underwater, in 1963. It is fascinating when you realise that this experiment took place 48 years ago, in a place as far away as Sudan, not an easy feat even for these days.
In the South of Sha’ab Rumi you will find a plateau, lying in around 23m. Here you will find reef sharks, numerous barracudas, jack fish, bump-head parrotfish and almost anything else that you can imagine, without forgetting the hammerhead sharks.
At about 20 miles north from Sha’ab Rumi is located the wreck of the “Blue Bell”, known affectionately as the “Toyota’s wreck”. The Blue Bell was a large cargo ship that sank in the seventies, after an inexplicable strike on to the reef. It was carrying a cargo of Toyota vehicles, most of them now scattered alongside the reef balcony. The Blue Bell lies upside down and tilted on the reef with the stern resting on the sea bottom at around 80 metres depth. Looking at this huge ship disappearing into the abyss is indeed a sight to behold.