Scuba diving in Umbria Wreck
The Umbria wreck site has the reputation of being one of the world's best wreck dive sites. The 150m/492ft-long wreck lies on the Wingate Reef near Port Sudan at about 40m/131ft deep. The Umbria was built in 1912 in Hamburg, Germany, and had been in service for 28 years before she was deliberately sunk in 1940 during wartime. At the time the Umbria was carrying a cargo of weapons, and had been boarded by the British, but the Italians managed to sink the ship so the British could not use it. Ironically, since diving equipment has developed, all the contents of the cargo have been explored on an almost daily basis, because it is preserved almost intact in sealed boxes.
When to go
This area has fantastic diving conditions all year long, with a low temperature of 24C/75F. On average, the sea temperature is 28-30C/82-86F, with the warmest water in June and September. The best time to dive is from November to June, when the visibility is the best, sometimes reaching over 35m/115ft. The least favorable time to dive in these waters is from May to October, when there is often rainy weather.
What to see
Divers can admire the well-lit hallway and rooms, and see the cargo of 350,000 intact bombs and 60 boxes of detonators. The view of old Fiat 1100 cars leaves a very special impression. In terms of sea life, there are such species as sea lilies, sponges of various colors, corals, and algae, as well as floating butterflyfish, snapper, barracudas, and cleaner shrimp.