At the northern tip of Big Brother Island lies for over a hundred years the wreck of the SS Numidia, an English cargo ship that ran aground here in 1901 and sank a few weeks later. With a length of 137 meters, a width of 16.7 meters, a maximum draught of 9.2 meters and ultimately a size of 6,399 GRT, the Numidia set sail from Liverpool for Calcutta on July 6, 1901 with a crew of 97 under the command of Captain J. Craig. Among other things, the ship carried materials for the expansion of the British colony's railroad network.
The Red Sea has a width of 180 km at the Brothers, yet the crew managed to hit this small island - shortly after two o'clock in the morning, Captain Craig was rudely awakened by the violent impact of the ship on the reef at the northern end of the "Big Brother".
The "officer on watch", Merwood, had probably fallen asleep at the same time as his boss. The resulting course then led the ship in truly somnambulistic safety right into the middle of the reef.
The ship was thus stuck in and on the narrow fringing reef and all efforts to free itself failed.
In the following days, attempts were made to tow the Numidia free with the help of other ships, but this failed.
Captain Craig was left with the thankless task of remaining on the desolate island for several more weeks to supervise the salvage of the cargo.
Probably in the winter storms of 1901/02, the ship was then torn from the reef and it sank for good.
- As already mentioned, high waves and strong currents often make diving here difficult or even impossible!
- In the shallower area up to about 12 meters the reef is littered with overgrown wreck fragments.
- The wooden superstructures have long rotted away, only the metal parts have survived the test of time and give the ship's skeleton, overgrown with soft and hard corals, a fascinating appearance.
- The holds and galleries are open and easy to dive. However, all the cargo was salvaged before the sinking.
- From about 40 m the stern part of the wreck begins, which extends down a nice bit.
- At a depth of 70 to 80 m the ship's propeller is located - too deep for "normal divers".
- Beside the enormous coral splendor at this wreck the numerous big fishes fascinate:
- Gray reef sharks circle the wreck at a rapid pace, with groups of snappers in between in the current. Mackerel and tuna also make good prey here among the many smaller reef inhabitants.