Deep Sea Fishing and MV Dara Wreck Diving
It is never a pleasure to wake up at 3 30 in the morning. But it is always a pleasure to do so when you are going on a trip knowing it will be a blast. I woke up with all the excitement to prepare for my deep sea fishing and diving trip into UAE’s open water to explore the MV Dara wrecked ship.
I met Hala, Piers, Hisham ,Rana and Sara at dawn then moved to meet with the guys at Sharjah Port. Unloading the cars then loading our scuba gear onto the boat, preparing and finalizing our papers before we set away. The fishermen told us we were late and that if we were looking for a big catch we should have been at deep sea by dawn, never the less spirits were high and all pumped up for adventure!
After a good hour sailing offshore we reached our first stop. Our captain was well resourceful in the fishing spots but the weather was getting hotter and as the day was moving forward, we found difficulties catching fish as they were swimming deep escaping the heat of the sun reflecting on the surface of the water. We moved from one spot to the other, and our luck turned when we reached our diving spot. The fish were “flying” into the baskets, but I was jinxed. Not one fish was attracted by the bait I was throwing. Suddenly, all the fish in the ocean decided to go vegetarian on me, leaving my mini fish and squid bait untouched. I even tried to feed them watermelon. NOTHING!
I soon gave up on fishing and decided it was time for wreck diving. I was excited for many reasons. It was my first wreck dive in the UAE and I had the proper Nikon P330 with underwater case to capture it all. It felt like I was after a long buried treasure and I couldn’t wait to start my hunt. A hunt for MV Darra that was a Dubai based passenger liner, built at a shipbuilding yard in Scotland during 1948. The vessel traveled mostly between the Arabian Gulf and the Indian subcontinent, carrying expatriate passengers who were employed in the Gulf States. The MV Dara sank in the Arabian Gulf on 8 April 1961, as a result of a powerful explosion that caused the deaths of 238 of the 819 persons on board at the time of the voyage, including 19 officers and 113 crew. Another 565 persons were rescued during an operation by a British Army and Royal Navy. The disaster has been well documented as the loss of life was so considerable the final figure was 238 deaths, the greatest number of fatalities during peacetime after the Titanic. The wreck now lies in three main sections, although the mid section is smashed beyond recognition.
This 121-metre/399-foot wreck sits on her starboard side in 20 metres/ 66 feet of water. Having been down for more than 40-years, the wreck crawls with marine life. Eagle rays, barracuda, guitar-fish and even whale sharks like the visit this shallow wreck.
” This dive is dedicated to the inocent lives lost in the tragic explosion of MV Dara. I hope many will visit this wreck site and share their experince so the memory of the past is not forgotten. May the souls of all MV Dara victims rest in peace.“
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