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