The Wingate Reef is located in the port entrance of Port Sudan. It became known through Hans Hass, who dived on the "Umbria" on the bottom in 1948. Due to the nearby harbor, the visibility on this reef is often poor. Because the diversity of species of underwater fauna and flora is not outstanding either except for the "Umbria" on Wingate Reef, rarely dived.
Despite the dangerous situation in the port entrance of Port Sudan, the "Umbria" is not recovered. A prohibition zone is pronounced around the wreck with its davits, some of which still protrude from the water, and then left to its own devices.
Nine years after its demise, the "Umbria" aroused the interest of the then 30-year-old Hans Hass. His contacts with the governor of Port Sudan finally enabled him to dive on the "Umbria".
His photo and film material contributed significantly to the myth of the wreck. The "Umbria" is now one of the most famous wrecks in the Red Sea.
Located within sight of Port Sudan, it usually forms the start or end of a liveaboard trip. Even if the collective rage of many divers has left its mark here, the old lady with the explosive cargo has lost none of her charm. The sinking point can be easily recognized by the four davits that protrude from the water on the starboard side. The sediment-rich subsoil, the immediate location to the port entrance and the low currents often contribute to reduced visibility.
The wreck is inclined 75 ° to the port side. The three front holds are connected to the intact bow. The crew quarters and the bridge can be found amidships. To the stern are two more holds and the aft deck. Both the holds and the midship superstructures can be easily explored.
Due to the extreme inclination and the dangerous load, extreme caution is required when handling objects. If you approach the bow of the "Umbria" from the open water, the steeply rising bow Steven with the flag stick appears mystically in the greenish water.
The two anchor chains run to the bottom, the "Umbria" was at anchor when it sank. The anchor winch and the railing are covered with corals.
The decking is still in astonishingly good condition. The small hatches are an indication of the age of the ship. In the first hold, the entrance of which is on the foredeck, wooden boxes, electrical material and airplane tires are stored next to the ubiquitous ammunition. In the second, somewhat larger hold there are bombs, grenades and stick grenades. The detonators, which are kept separate from the explosive devices, are scattered around in almost every hold. The third hold is one of the most visited.
In addition to cement sacks and other building materials, wine bottles and jam jars can be found here.
A narrow port or starboard passage leads to the midships area on the first loading level, where there are three vehicles.
The Fiat 1100 Lunga were specially designed for off-road use in the Italian colonies. Unfortunately, quite a few divers left their mark on the vehicles. The fine sediment quickly reduces the visibility to zero, so that if possible this part of the ship should be visited with small groups at larger intervals. The midship section with the bridge and its superstructures can also be easily explored by snorkeling. On the starboard side 4 empty davits protrude from the water. On this side there is also a single bathroom with a toilet, bathtub and a sink made of enamel.
The huge machine room can be accessed either through one of the open skylights behind the chimney or through the workshop accessible from aft. The multi-storey room is easy to dive in the upper sections, the lower ones are reserved for experienced divers.
Grates limit the numerous units. Wind scoops, loading booms, the broken chimney and a lifeboat lie on the sea floor towards the port side of the superstructure. In the direction of the rear there are two further holds. Some of them are spanned by the overturned loading booms. As in the front holds, ammunition, building materials and various war equipment can be found here. The one-story superstructure between the fourth and fifth cargo space houses the galley and some storage rooms. At the rear, the planking is missing. The red soft corals on the railing and the deck struts provide the necessary color. The rudder system and the exposed timing chain are easy to see. Below the railing, the huge rudder blade and the starboard propeller are impressive. The port screw has sunk into the floor. Under the rudder blade there is a huge artificial cave that can only be exited through two exits. The twilight contributes to a mystical mood.
- The night dives on the Umbria are beautiful and highly recommended.