The French Submarine Souffleur Wreck – Khaldé, Lebanon

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The French Submarine Souffleur

The Souffleur submarine was sunk by the British submarine HMS Parthian on 25th of June 1941 at south of Beirut, as the Souffleur submarine appeared to recharge the batteries. Four torpedoes HMS Parthian shot down, one of them tore the U-boat in two parts. Five men out of the six on deck tried to swim to shore, one of them drowned, while fifty-two sailors found their death. Here comes the story:

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The French Submarine Souffleur Wreck

 The Souffleur submarine was a U-boat of the Requin-Class (requin = French, shark). Nine of the boats were made and launched from 1925 to 1926. She was built in 1924 in Cherbourg dockyard. It was 257 feet long, 22 feet large and had a draught of 15 feet. Souffleur submarine was a deep-submarine of the French Navy. Designed for diving on the depth of up to 80 meters the drive was like in conventional n847005645_6807294_316575submarines, a usual combination of two diesel engines for the water ride and two battery-operated electric motors for the dive trip. On the time between the beginning of the Second World War on 1st of September 1939 and the German-French ceasefire on the 22nd of June 1940, the submarines were mainly in the Mediterranean, and patrolled off the French and North African coast. In June 1941 the British, together with French forces occupied Syria and Lebanon, until they stood under the control of the Vichy-France. During the fighting, the Souffleur submarine was sunk by a British submarine.

25th of June 1941

That day, at 06:55 GMT, the ‘Souffleur’ was two or three miles off the coast between Ras Damour and Ras Beirut; she was compelled to surface to charge her batteries. Six men were on bridge deck. Suddenly four torpedo wakes, launched from HMS ‘Parthian’, could be seen cruising toward ‘Souffleur’.
Officer Morange gave order to maneuver, unfortunately one torpedo hit the ‘Souffleur’ and broke her in two parts, and she sank immediately. Fifty-two men went down with their ship. Five men out of the six on deck tried to swim to shore, one of them drowned. HMS ‘Parthian’ was lost in August 1943, possibly in the southern Adriatic Sea, while on patrol. Nothing is known for certain about what happened to her, she failed to arrive at Beirut on 14th August.

The French Submarine Souffleur Wreck Diving:

The wreck lies on a sandy bottom at 40 meters deep, at Khaldé Bay about 10 km from Beirut. You will find one of her torpedoes still within its hull and the other faithfully on her side on the sandy bottom. In addition you will observe many types of fish and rays have taken this submarine as a sanctuary.

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Diving information The French Submarine Souffleur is only accessible by boat. It’s rarely visited and it is in good condition. The boat is broken into two parts, so one can see many details. The front part is on the side, torpedoes evident, one of the torpedoes is in the launch tube. Also visible: the air gun + rotary tower. On the back: Rowing very well preserved.

n847005645_6807293_2228781 2 Some kind of exhaust pipes of the submarine

It is a marine life sanctuary and a Great location for advanced recreational divers and for Advanced Nitrox divers.

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Here is a YouTube Video for The French Submarine Souffleur Wreck diving, but don’t forget the rule when you do wreck diving to see a military submarine wreck, like The French Submarine Souffleur Wreck. Enjoy watching the video!

Basic rule if it’s military and sunk.

Look, don’t touch!
Have some respect, don’t go in!

 

Location: Khaldé, south of Beirut – Lebanon
Accessibility: By Boat
Divers Level: Penetration is possible for specialized wreck penetration divers, advanced recreational divers and for Advanced Nitrox divers.
Marine Life: Various

Tell us what you think about this post, your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Wait for our next posts for other diving sites, where you can enjoy diving in Lebanon.

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

The Cement Freighter Wreck – Batroun

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

The Cement Freighter Wreck is located in Batroun waters, which is a coastal city located in northern Lebanon (50 km from Beirut) and it is one of the oldest cities in the world. This wreck is also known as “Captain Michel Boat” the Cement Freighter’s Captain Michel was a Greek sailor who liked alcohol and women. On a night of June 1939 he and his crew were transporting tones of cement and were overweight, they were completely drunk…as usual, suddenly the sea got tough, they had forgotten to close the portholes of the ship so it was completely flooded and sunk. Two sailors drowned this night the captain escaped death and swam 7 hours to the shore. After this event he was ruined, he disappeared and no one ever heard from him again. Other story says that this cement carrying ship took its captain with her as a penalty for his decision to take her out on a stormy day. While, the crystal clear waters make for a wonderful and transparent final resting place for this ship.

The Cement Freighter Wreck – Batroun

The Batroun wreck is parked in front of a wall and it is often visible from the surface where she starts peeking out at 35 meters and bottoms out at 40 meters giving advanced and technical divers a wonderful look at her.

Location: Batroun Shore (50 km from Beirut – Lebanon)

Depth: 35 – 40 meters

The Cement Freighter Wreck - Batroun

The Cement Freighter Wreck – Batroun

 

The Cement Freighter Wreck – Batroun

The Cement Freighter Wreck – Batroun

The Cement Freighter Wreck – Batroun

The Cement Freighter Wreck – Batroun

The wreck that you just don’t get bored of, because of its aquatic life. But what is observed at that site also is Dasyatis pastinaca Sting ray, it is found over sandy and muddy bottoms, sometimes in estuaries and near rocky reefs. Feed on bottom fishes, crustaceans and mollusks. Ovoviviparous, gestation period about 4 months and 4-7 young are produced. Harmful to shellfish banks; dangerous to bathers and fishers due to its poisonous spine. Barbed poison spine is a modified denticle that can be 35cm long, shed occasionally and replaced. Its used in fishmeal and oil, its wings are marketed smoked, and dried-salted. 

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Dasyatis pastinaca Sting Ray

About Batroun City:

Batroun, on the coast south of Tripoli, was known as “Batruna” in the famous “Tell al Amarna” letters of the 14th century B.C., although its history goes back even further. The town was called “Botrys” in Greco-Roman times and during the Crusader era it was a seigniory dependent on the County of Tripoli.

Batroun’s fishing port, undoubtedly of great antiquity, still supplies local markets with fresh fish. The city’s sights can be best appreciated by heading on foot through the old part of town. On your way look for remains of the crusader castle within the walls of the 13th century souks and traditional houses.

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Batroun Port

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Batroun Traditional Houses

Along the sea front starting from the north end of town you will find the century-old Maronite cathedral of St. Stephan (Mar Stefan), the beautiful 13th century Greek Orthodox Church of St. George and the tiny chapel known as “Sadiyat al-Bahr,” or Our Lady of the Sea. This simple white washed building has a wide verandah overlooking the sea and an excellent view of Batroun’s sea wall, which is what remains of a huge quarry famous in Hellenistic and Roman times.

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The Phoenician wall

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The Phoenician wall

The phoenician wall

The Phoenician wall

In addition to the above, Batroun city is also known with its various Marine Sports, from fishing to diving and even surfing.

Water Sports in Batroun

Water Sports in Batroun

Surfing in Batroun

Surfing in Batroun

Tell us what you think about this post, your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Wait for our next posts for other diving sites, where you can enjoy diving in Lebanon.

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

Alice B (Cargo Ship) – Wreck Diving in Lebanon

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

There is many wreck diving sites in Lebanon, our blog will divide these wrecks into many posts. I’m very confident that they will be at your interest.

Alice B (Cargo Ship)

This is a large cargo ship that sunk under mysterious circumstances during the Lebanese civil war.

Alice B

The story about the Alice is that it used to run contraband and arms during the days of the 1975-1990 war in Lebanon. After Interpol had ordered its arrest and the Alice found no place to dock, its owner, who was recently assassinated in Brazil, ordered it to be sunk and so it was. Two holes were blown in the ship. One is visible right smack in its left hand side of the mid section and the other one is in the back just out of the engine room next to the propeller. Needless to say the owner cashed the insurance money of about 1,000,000 US. Alice was declared lost at sea to the insurance company.

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Alice B

The wreck lies on a sandy bottom and is beautifully preserved and is sitting upright. The “Alice B” starts at 34 meters and bottoms out on flat ground at 38 meters. Two large holes in the body of the boat seem to verify at least the fact that Alice B was blown up on purpose. The wreck is penetrable from several access points: The stern gives access to sleeping quarters and engine rooms. Through the main control room you can get to a kitchen and living quarters. From there a hatchway leads to the bedrooms. Since plunderers have taken anything of value, you shouldn’t expect to find any sort of treasure, but you will definitely have a truly enriching diving experience.  As it is a “Friendly Diver wreck” you could explore it’s interior starting from cargo bay, going through the sleeping quarter, engine rooms, the main control room, the kitchen and the living quarter.

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Alice B

With mild underwater currents only occasionally swirling around. An array of fish and other marine life have made this ship their home. You can expect the visibility to range between 5 to 25 meters best. When the visibility is good, the entire wreck is visible starting 10 meters depth. Marine life around the wreck includes schools of tuna, groupers and lobsters. You will definitely need a local guide who knows his way around these waters.

This is a excellent wreck for wreck dives as it could be explored within 20 minutes. Don’t forget to take a light, the wreck will appear to you better.

Location: Zouk, facing Harissa, about 1 – 2 kilometers from the shore.

Visibility: Range between 5 – 25 meters best

Currents: Mild

Depth: 34 – 38 meters

Marine Life: schools of AmberJack, groupers and lobsters

Watch the following video, it is one out of several videos on YouTube for Alice B Wreck, I’m very confident that after watching this video you will be very excited to visit that site and wreck dive to see the magnificent Alice B. Followed by magnificent pictures for Alice B Wreck.
Take note that the video has also a part for Batroun Wreck at the end of it, information regarding Batroun Wreck will be afforded in the coming post.

This video was prepared by Khaled Merebi a Lebanese Diver.

Pictures for Alice B:

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Alice B

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Alice B

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Alice B

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Alice B

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Alice B

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Alice B

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Alice B

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Alice B

Tell us what you think about this post, your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Wait for our next posts for other diving sites, where you can enjoy diving in Lebanon.

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

The World’s only Vertical Wreck – HMS Victoria

 Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

Divers will absolutely like this site for wreck diving. The wreck, lying in more than 120 meters of water off the coast of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, it is in a vertical position, with about a quarter of its length buried in the sea floor. It is thought to be the only known shipwreck in the world in a 90 degree position. 

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HMS Victoria
90 degree position

The wreck of HMS VICTORIA has been registered on the general list for historic monuments in Lebanon, by virtue of the Minister of Culture’s decision nr. 17, dated 24th of February 2011. That means that the wreck, now listed and classified as historic, is under the protection of the MoC, in accordance with the Lebanese law for antiquities.

I will let you enjoy some images of the HMS Victoria Wreck, after that I’m very sure that you will be interested in reading the history of HMS Victoria and her finding process.

HMS VICTORIA

HMS VICTORIA WRECK
90 degree angle

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HMS VICTORIA WRECK

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HMS VICTORIA WRECK

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H.M.S VICTORIA

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HMS VICTORIA

History

On June.22, 1893; the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet was about to anchor off Tripoli, Lebanon.

HMS VICTORIA was the flagship of Admiral Tryon, Commander in Chief, who was conducting Maneuvers before anchoring. He ordered that his ships form two columns, one led by him and the other by his second in command, Rear Admiral Markham in CAMPERDOWN. Tryon, an acknowledged expert in ship handling, ordered that the two columns turn inwards towards each other to arrive on reciprocal courses prior to anchoring. Unfortunately the two columns were only six cables (1200 yards) apart.
Because of the ships’ turning circles, this meant that a collision was inevitable. CAMPERDOWN collided with VICTORIA and the latter sank in about 10 minutes. Admiral Tryon and more than 350 of the ship’s company went down with her. Crewmen and sailors jump over the side as the ship starts to sink, it sank very quickly (The front guns and turrets weighed a massive 110 tons; she was that weight that took her down as fast as she did) in an instant the Mediterranean fleet had lost its admiral and her flagship.

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HMS Victoria

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HMS Victoria

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HMS Victoria

The subsequent court martial placed the blame on Tryon. No culpability was assigned either to Markham or Tryon’s Flag Captain. A stunned Britain and admiralty wanted answers. How could such a catastrophe have occurred? Why did no one prevent the collision? Why did the Victoria sink so fast, when the damage she sustained was limited to her bows only?

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HMS Victoria Sinking

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HMS Victoria Sinking

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HMS Victoria Sinking
Painting

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HMS Victoria Sinking
Painting

Since she sank, divers have wondered where the VICTORIA lay and if she could be visited by underwater explorers and salvage companies in the hope of solving her secrets.

Finding HMS VICTORIA

HMS Victoria, one of the flagships of the Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet, has been discovered off the coast of Lebanon, 111 years after being rammed by another British warship during maneuvers, and sinking with the loss of 358 lives. The disaster was the largest peacetime loss of life in the history of the Royal Navy.

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Christian Francis
Finding HMS Victoria

Christian Francis a Lebanese-Austrian diver who has been searching for the wreck since 1994 he has been running Lebanon Divers for over 10 years. He has been looking for HMS VICTORIA for even longer after hearing fishermen’ s stories and visiting Tripoli (VICTORIA) Naval Cemetery, dedicated by the Admiralty to the sailors who perished on the 22nd of June, 1893. Creating a virtual shrine to HMS VICTORIA, Christian visited repetitively the National Maritime Museum in London, British newspaper and historic archives, gleaning information about the sinking that might one day lead to the ship’s discovery.

At Court-Martial, Flag-Lieutenant Guilford mentioned some important information during his talk “The Admiral remained on deck. He asked the Staff Commander what water we were in; he replied deep water, 70 or 80 fathoms.“ When Christian Francis read these words in at the National Maritime Museum, he realized the wreck was at touching distance.

Christian Francis continues: This has gained me absolute certainty that I would find something, one day”. Indeed some fishermen have actually unknowingly fished the ships’ resting position, but modern depth sounding equipment has failed to reveal any visual clues to confirm the presence of the 400 foot long warship. The depth of the sea bed in the rough proximity of HMS VICTORIA is 150 meter deep, and as such, has excluded scuba divers from scouring the area searching for the ship by sight.

December – January 2004, Christian scanned the seabed in a predetermined search area, finding very conclusive echoes in a flat desert.

In March 2004 Christian met Mark Ellyatt in London, while researching – for a fifth time – British archives. He wanted to see if Mark’s technical diving experience and deep wreck finding skills could help in the search for HMS VICTORIA. Christian says: “I took my decision immediately, Mark inspired trust. And he had the ideal profile, being the deepest wreck video graphic around”. Mark was on board. Then followed a 3 months period of preparations, all focused on total success for the Project.

Boats were pulled out for yearly maintenance; new equipment had to be acquired, available equipment serviced and double checked, all for a team of four, all in double. Down lines and floats, on board electronics, tools were made ready. In July the two divers met at BeirutAirport and during the drive to the dive centre at Enfeh, Lebanon, discussed again their plan of attack that would allow a dive team to dive and confirm the identity of the wreck. As Christian wanted to obtain as much video footage as possible, many practice dives were carried out to improve confidence and mobility in deep water. After approximately 22 dives to a maximum depth of 122 meters, the divers and support team were working smoothly and it was time to complete a fly past of some possible wreck positions. The initial plan was to make a series of exploration dives to 120 meters and drop magnesium flares to illuminate the sea bed below.

 August 2005 – VICTORIA found

The electronics on board the dive boat did reveal again the same echoes encountered a few months before. But the relative height above the sea bed was so low that it suggested the 10,400 ton vessel had submerged into a soft mud or sediment. Suddenly, the depth sounder revealed a highly unusual image that showed a large object seemingly floating in mid water, looking like what could have been a large trawl net that was tangled around wreckage at 500 feet depth. It could not possibly have been the wreck itself. Days and hours were spent searching for the highest point. The time was nearing 16:00 PM and the sun low in the sky. The divers had enough and decided to go for the highest echo, “the trawl net”. Haidar threw the weighted down line.

Christian continues: “The trip was joined by Major Paul Pitchfork who flew over to assist the team at Mark’s promise of some deep wreck finding and he was to be our back-up/safety diver.

Below is one of several on YouTube videos that show HMS Victoria wreck during the finding process, Christian Francis and other experts assure that this is the only Wreck that stand vertically at 90 degrees. Enjoy the video:

Christian explained his experience by saying:”At 16:05 the three of us went down. Visibility was easily 30 – 40 meters, the seas relatively calm, water temperature a comfortable 28 C and almost no current and. Deeper and deeper, ambient light was starting to turn into a deep blue twilight, the line was guiding us into the dark at a diagonal angle. At reaching about hundred meters down – we should have been deep enough, and once again looking around to see if the net was anywhere close, I saw a huge shadow in my peripheral sight to the west, our left. At once, the team stopped descending into the darkness, as we had suddenly all realized that a huge shadow was looming in the distance, but closes enough to cut ambient light. At depth the current had died down and we all let go of the down line swimming at a steep angle towards this strange sight, going instinctively for it’ s highest point. I was keeping in mind that we were swimming in dangerous waters, possibly infested with fishing lines, hooks and nets. My torchlight was put to use, scanning the water for eventual lines & hooks, lost in mid-water. Looking to the other two, I made sure that we swam in a squadron. The closer I swam, the better I could make out the outline of what was to become my life’s most unbelievable sight! Suddenly, time stopped.”

He added: “Victoria’s propellers were there, frozen in time. Tryon and all 358 men lost when she sank came to my mind in a religious moment. This is when my hand reached to the regulator I was breathing from and took it out for my lips to touch the wreck. I kept hovering above the props for a minute or two. Looking down alongside the hull it looked enormous as a school of fish was circling the wreck in a tight procession. Mark and Paul looked both fine; nobody really had eyes for anything else but the wreck. Suddenly, the back cannon deck side came to my mind. I swam over the stern, past the flag pole that had no flag (it must have rotted away, I thought) and looked down to see it’s mouth still covered, pointing to towards me a few meters below. The wood on the upper deck was still all there, well preserved. Little fish were everywhere, the whole scene was surreal.”

Christian continued: “VICTORIA was indeed standing completely vertical, its bows surely buried into the sea bed. The original photographs showed the ship as it slipped below the waves 111 years before, it had indeed sunk bows first with the propellers still turning at near maximum revolutions. The bow of the Victoria was fitted with an enormous metal ram that would have pushed deep into the soft clay of the sea bed and combined with the sheer weight of the vessel and continued downward thrust of the propellers ensured the ship took a good purchase of the seabed and stood like a tombstone all this time waiting for discovery. We had made the greatest wreck find imaginable; the 10,400 ton HMS VICTORIA was standing in front of us oriented completely vertically and looked in excellent condition.”

And regarding the name of Victoria, Christian said: “The sight of the enormous rear facing gun and the propellers confirmed that this was the right vessel, but reading the ship’s name VICTORIA as it clearly stood out in 12inch raised letters, positively identified it. Now that the descent line was out of reach, Mark used his primary reel (Kent) with its 120 meters of yellow line to tie a temporary up line to ease the ascent and mark HMS Victoria’s exact location.”

Christian ended his worlds by saying: “It was important not let this breathtaking scene make us deviate from our dive plan. I was mindful of the time we had spent at depth already approaching 15 minutes between 120m and 90m. We could spend just 5 more minutes at 77m before the original decompression plan was compromised.”

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Christian Francis also brought to our attention the fact that 6 bodies were recovered from the sea after the sinking and were buried in a special cemetery in Tripoli (see photo). The Ottoman Sultan had offered a piece of land on which the cemetery was built. He did this as a sign of friendship towards the UK and a plaque witnessing this is also placed inside the cemetery’s walls.

You see also the Memorial that was made to the officers and men who lost their lives onboard HMS Victoria, The memorial was originally erected in what was then the Town Square, but was removed to Victoria Park in 1903, at the request of the survivors, in order to offer it better protection. (It is located at the main walk through Victoria Park, UK)

HMS Victoria Memorial

HMS Victoria Memorial

The only wreck that stands at 90 degrees, tell us what you think about this post, your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Wait for our next posts for other diving sites, where you can enjoy diving in Lebanon.

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

Cave Diving Sites in Lebanon

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

Following the previous post about Diving sites in Lebanon, here is the magnificent cave diving sites that you can visit and have an enjoyable diving experience.

But first of all, let us state for you some remarks you should know before you go cave diving:

– Never cave diving without proper training (the dive might kill you ,look at accidents reports among recreational divers).
– Never loose your guide line 
– Always follow the rule of third on your air supply ( one third of your tank for going in and two third for going out )

1- Tyre Undersea Cave (South of Beirut)

In addition to the diving site in Tyre city posted previously “Volcano Crater”, deep down in Tyre Sea at 36 meters lies a beautiful cave where all cave divers enjoy, the following some picture for Tyre Undersea Cave:

Tyre Cave 1

Tyre Undersea Cave

Tyre Cave 2

Tyre Undersea Cave

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Tyre Undersea Cave

And if you have more time, go scuba-diving and snorkeling in the waters near the ancient city of Tyre. Divers can explore some interesting underwater archaeological Roman ruins and old debris. Do not forget to make skin diving at Tyre City for exploring the Phoenician breakwaters and jetties. Look for the Murex seashells, still living along Tyre’s shores among the rocks and sunken archeological remains. Basic equipment is sufficient to enjoy your skin diving.

Murex Seashell in Lebanon

Tyrian Murex Seashell

What is the precious about Tyre Murex Seashells?

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Tyrian Murex Seashell

Tyre juts out from the coast of the Mediterranean and is located about 80 km south of Beirut. Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and the legendary birthplace of Europa and Elissa (Dido). Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon and also enjoying UNESCO World Heritage status is the seaside settlement of Tyre, which is scattered with the remnants of over 5,000 years of history.

The city of Tyre was particularly known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive sort of purple dye, which is know as Tyrian Purple, produced from the murex shellfish, that still lives along Tyre’s shores deep among the rocks and sunken archeological remains. This color was, in many cultures of ancient times, reserved for the use of royalty, or at least nobility, that brought fame and fortune to the city. One gram of pure purple dye was worth ten or twenty grams of gold, so it is not surprising that some of the beautiful sarcophagi of the necropolis belonged to wealthy purple dye manufactures of Tyre. Dye extraction is no longer a viable commercial venture, but scientists have documented the process for historical purposes.

In addition to that, the commerce of the ancient world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. “Tyrian merchants were the first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters; and they founded their colonies on the coasts and neighboring islands of the Aegean Sea, in Greece, on the northern coast of Africa, at Carthage and other places, in Sicily and Corsica, in Spain at Tartessus, and even beyond the pillars of Hercules at Gadeira (Cádiz)”.

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Tyre Ancient City

 

2- Selaata Undersea Cave (North of Beirut)

Selaata is a village in the district of Batroun to the north of Lebanon. A distance of 50 kilometers separates it from the Capital Beirut .It is located in a place distinguished by the presence of a complex industrial on the rib and full of forests of oaks. A big harbor resides on its beach. it has been lived by the primitive man since thousands of years, and its new prosperity dates since the year 1712 where a person coming from the village of Feghal named Nohra Feghaly bought the two third of its lands. Selaata is an Aramaic word that means the summit of the rock since the city is a gathering of rocks that touches the rib.

Selaata sea has an amazing cave, with 25 meters to 300 meters depth, and very interesting site for divers who will come out from Selaata Cave with a great diving experience.

Location: Selaata – North of Beirut

Depth: 25 – 300 meters

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Selaata Undersea Cave

 

3- Adra Stingray Undersea Cave (Dbaye – North of Beirut)

This one kilometer ledge starts at 30 meters and drops to about 60 meters. Divers begin their journey by visiting the three statues and end their dive at the stingray cave, the home of some resident and very large stingrays. Keep your eyes out however, a variety of fish and turtles often peer out from within this ledge.

Location: North of Beirut (50m – 12 km)

Depth: 30 – 60 meters

Marine Life: Stingrays

Here’s some stingrays pictures observed at the site:

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Stingray Observed at Site

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Stingray Observed at Site

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Stingray Observed at Site

Tell us what you think about this post, your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Wait for our next posts for diving sites, where you can enjoy diving in Lebanon.

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

Who said that Diving Sites in Lebanon is Only in Beirut?!! Check Some Other Diving Sites In Lebanon …

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam

Following the previous post for diving sites in Lebanon, there are other sites divers can pass by when visiting Lebanon. Including

1- Aqua Wall (Jounieh – North of Beirut)

This wall having its base at 60 its head at 5 and spanning over 500. The Aqua wall feels like its holding up the shoreline. It has 2 caves and many protruding boulders add to the exotic nature of this beast. This wall is buzzing with an array of fish and other wildlife that use its awesome might for protection these include: Jewfish, Cornet Fish and Octopus to name but a few.

About Jounieh:

Jounieh is a coastal city about 16 km north of Beirut, Bay of Jounieh is considered to be the most beautiful bay in Lebanon.

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Jounieh Bay

In addition to its beautiful bay, it has seaside resorts, as well as its old stone souk, ferry port, and cablecar (le téléphérique), which takes passengers up the mountain to the shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa. Moreover, you can enjoy scuba diving at Jounieh’s water to see the wonderful Aqua Wall.

2- Halat Mushroom (Jbeil – North of Beirut)

One of the most beautiful natural dive sites in the Halat area. A huge Mushroom shaped  big rock is flanked by a reef that seemingly extends for ever in both directions. The mushroom partly surrounded by a beautiful rocky reef, full of corrals and some small gorgons. A small tunnel separates the mushroom from the reef. You will firstly reach the upper part of the mushroom at 35 meters depth, then you could go down along his trunk. until the 45 meters depth. Marine life is abundant. You encounter small fishes, groupers, moray eels, shellfish, jellyfishes, octopuses, and lobsters.

Beside this Mushroom shaped boulder, there’s a newly built dive site “Halat Reef”, on a Rocky reef nearby Halat and on a depth not exceeding the 32 meters, several Saint Statues have been deployed in 2009 in order to create a Saints City, a very attractive location for advanced divers and lately lots of marine life can be seen on that location.

Location: This site is located near of the city of Halat, at 20 km north of Beirut.

Depth: Between 35 and 45 meters

Divers Level: good diving experience; levels starting “Advanced Open Water” divers.

Currents: Weak on this spot. You could enter a cold thermocline at 40 meters depth.

Additional Equipment: Underwater light, small caves and small holes are abundant on the mushroom and the nearby reef.

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Halat Coast

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Halat Coast

3- Volcano Crater (Tyre – South of Beirut)

Tyre sea has a very interesting site which it is one of the most breathtaking dives in the south of Beirut, also known as “Jouret Salem”, this dormant volcano peaks out at 38 meters and bases itself at 55 meters. Its diameter is 40  meters. We recommend an inclined approach giving you the best site of the inner walls where large fish will look right back at you and the lobsters will scatter. At its bottom large nurse sharks nestle the sand peacefully ending your dive with the gentle rhythm of their gills. Moreover, Tyre city has other scuba diving sites where you can find the roman ruins and so many others.

Location: Tyre – South of Beirut

Depth: Max 55 meters

Tyre, view along southern side of isthmus, adr090508586 800

Tyre Coast

About Tyre:

Tyre city has the most beautiful coast in Lebanon and from which Tyrian coast the purple dye was discovered and is called Tyrian Purple, produced from the Tyrian Murex Shellfish (Will be discussed in a later post). Additionally, the Tyre shoreis a site for sea turtle nests, by which nesting season usually lasts from May to October, with turtles returning to the place of their birth under the cover of darkness to dig a hole in the sand in which to lay their eggs. When the young turtles hatch, they head instinctively towards the sea. There are two endangered sea turtle species; the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas); lay their eggs on Lebanon’s beaches.

Young Sea Turtle Heading Instinctively Towards the Sea after Hatching

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Sea Turtles – Tyre Coast

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Sea Turtles – Tyre Coast

4- Barbur (Amchit – North of Beirut):

Considered to be one of the most exotic dives in the north of the country; Barbur features two tunnels at around 35 meters which leads the divers to a drop of up to 60 meters. This site is a reef drop off, and divers should be advanced.

Location: Facing Amchit Shore

Depth: 30 – 50 meters

Divers Level: Advanced ++

About Amchit:

Amchit is seaside town in Lebanon, situated between Byblos and Jbeil and about 40 km north of Beirut. Amchit city is known for its baskets and mats woven from palm leaves. Olive and citrus fruits are the main agricultural products of the town. It is also known for its delicious seafood restaurants located on all the coast.

Amchit Bay

Amchit Bay

5- Natural Bridge (Amchit – North of Beirut)

This is the Lebanese coast’s answer to the Faqra natural bridge. The Mediterranean carved this bridge out using its currents as a chisel; hundreds of years of gentle carving have resulted in this natural engineering miracle. This dive features both the natural bridge and nestled under it is the opening of the tunnel (48 meters).

Location: Amchit – South of Lebanon

Depth: 45 – 50 meters

Amchit 2

Amchit Coast

Amchit Shore

Amchit Shore

Tell us what you think about this post, your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Wait for our next posts for other diving sites, where you can enjoy diving in Lebanon.

Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam