The Al Kafhain

Ships History

Built by Camell Laird in 1967 at Birkenhead for the Belfast Steamship Co Ltd., working on the Belfast to Liverpool service. A 115mtr long 6000 ton Ro Ro passenger car ferry with 428 berths, comprising 4 deluxe double cabins, 288 first class and 140 2nd class berths. and 594 deck passenger capability, she was powered by 2 12cylinder Pielstick turbo charged diesel engines built by Crossley Brothers with 2 controllable pitched propellers. Her service speed was 17 knots

Final Voyage

On the 22d nov 2005 the Al Khafain left Hurghada bound for Jeddah. Fire broke out in the engine room and swept through the superstructure. The 58 crew abandoned ship, some by life boats others by passing vessels. One crewman was injured. The ship was taken undertow but capsized and drifted onto Sha’ab Sheer near Port Safaga. Peter Collings was in the area with members of Scarborough Sub Aqua Club and surveyed the wreck

“The sound of the ship’s death throws reminded me of the Giannis D’s sinking back in 1983. The sound of metal twisting and grinding could be heard long before the wreck came into view. It’s a sound you never forget-the haunting death those of a once proud ship.

The bow section-gleaming white in the strong sunlight seemed to be buoyant-possible because of trapped air, and could be seen rising and falling in the swell-an incredible sight- 6000 tons of steel, this huge bow rising to the surface and falling back to the reef-pounding the coral. Both names “ULSTER QUEEN” and “AL KAFHAIN” were easy to read-even upside down! No one can dispute this identification!

A helicopter pad could be seen just forward of the bridge a circled H painted on her foredeck.

Amidships the gleaming white hull gives way to a scorched superstructure-evidence of her fire-windowless and dangerously beckoning-it would have been foolhardy to enter with the ship in such an unstable condition-already there are signs of the superstructure collapsing the smooth walls folding inwards.

Her funnel appears to be digging into the seabed and appears to be all that is preventing her from tumbling down the reef. Life boat davits are all swung out their pulley systems dangling down towards the seabed. Towards the stern are her registration details-Panama- and her IMO number. The stern was a cloud of milky water, perhaps some cargo dissolving and seeping out from the car deck. Brief moments of clarity allowed for some impressive images of her twin screws and rudders. She rests on a narrow ledge at 20 mtrs-should she not dig in and roll away from the reef she could end up in deep waster over the ledge. If the ship settles on the ledge she will add to the growing list of wrecks in the area; Tor el Arish, Karen Vitis, Maldive Transport and the haunting Salem express

December update Lowestoft BSAC joined me and she’s still there!! still rockin but becoming a steady part of the reef, water has cleared and she’s looking good, both helms although upside down are still there.Bridge is totally gutted but stern and focle look brand new! more pickies to follow shortly.

DEC 2009- the wreck has now settled into the reef, her stern doors now open and allow full penitration-with care.The fore deck has collapsed and her huge spare  anchor now lies on the seabed.Her 3 names -Posedonia, Al Khafain and Ulster queen, are currenty readable due to her layers of paint flaking off.She will continue to break up, but never the less is a  great dive

2012 update.The wreck continues to break up, and more sections ofher interior haver become accessable, but great care is required when entering her upturned hull.

Internet Marketing by 2buy1click Ltd