2003 has been a year when a number of different vessels came to grief on Wingate Reef.
Earlier this year Emperor Divers reported the loss of the Hassanein, a small ship of the 618grt, which developed a leak and sank in April 2003. A few weeks later, another ship, the Madad, ran aground and remains high and dry on top of the reef. In July, the Annie Sierra out of Limassol also ran aground although she was refloated some weeks later.
The latest wreck, however, is something very different altogether. The SS Jassim was a roro passenger/cargo ferry of 2312grt built in Norway and launched in 1961. Her dimensions are 80.64m x 15m with a draught of 9.3m. She was owned by Al Ramzani Sea Transport of Qatar and registered in La Paz, Bolivia. More recently she became one of the many ships laid up at the Wingate Reef anchorage and it was here that she sank on the night of 1 December 2003.
Emperor Divers, who runs the only shore-based diving facility in Port Sudan, in addition to a day boat and the newly installed liveaboard, Pegasus, has already made tentative enquiries about the wreck with a view to seeing her moved into deeper water. For the moment, however, the Sudanese legal system is trying to determine blame for the sinking of the ship. Definitely an exciting new wreck for the near future.