With 1105 gross tons and a length of 100 meters, the Salem Express was one of those typical, large ferries that are often used in the Middle East. She was equipped with two engines, and propulsion was by means of two shafts and propellers.
It was a tragic navigation error that caused the sinking of the Salem Express. The ship was coming from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and was heading for the port of Safaga. Only eleven kilometers from the destination port, the ferry ran full speed into the westernmost coral block from Hyndman Reef.
A 10-meter hole had been torn in the forward part of the hull, causing the ship's huge bow hatch to burst open. Enormous amounts of water entered through these two openings and it sank in just a few minutes. Of the 690 passengers officially listed, only 180 survived the accident.
- The dive begins at the stern. The mighty dimensions of the port propeller are impressive. Here in the stern area you can find the remains of the sun roof made of corrugated iron, as well as still well preserved bollards, ship's ropes, vent stacks and winches.
- You swim along the port side to the well preserved main deck as well as to the sun deck. Further forward you reach the first superstructures, and after 15 meters you arrive at two davits. If you swim into the depth here, you will reach the lifeboats.
- From a certain distance you can already see the two large funnels, each of which bears the huge letter "S". From here, you go to the bridge directly above the main deck. On its roof, antennas and a large radar screen are still intact. Through the windows of the bridge you can have a look inside. After the bridge, one turns to the foredeck and the main hatch, from which a huge anchor sticks out of its hawse.
- It goes without saying that there is no attempt to enter the passenger compartments to pay respect to the hundreds of dead.