Umbria wreck Hothttp://oonasdivers.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/378x284s/41/e1/16/786_umbria_by_alan_larsen_1304334419.jpg
Dive Site Details
The Umbria is said to be one of the most beautiful wrecks in the world and came to rest on her port side at Wingate Reef. She was an Italian freighter and rests at only 45 minutes sailing from Port Sudan. In May 1940, the Umbria set sail from Naples with a cargo of 360,000 bombs in preparation for Italy joining the Second World War. On the 9th June, when close to Port Sudan, HMS Grimsby forced the Umbria to anchor close to shore for an inspection of her cargo. The following day the captain of the Umbria (Captain Lorenzo Muiesan) heard on the radio that Italy had formally declared war. Knowing this news, Captain Lorenzo Muiesan, distracted the British forces and ordered his engineer to open all valves on the Umbria. Her fate was decided and she sank to the bottom of Wingate Reef where she is lying perfectly protected inside the reef. This 150m wreck lies at a max 40m over on her port side, her starboard side just breaking the surface. The funnel & mast have long since collapsed and liferafts are scattered on the seabed around her. An initial investigation can be done by snorkel, as there’s little current. The hull and handrails are heavily encrusted and the holds are open and easily entered. The starboard propeller is intact and clear of the bottom so makes for an excellent photo opportunity at 18m. Spanish Dancers, crabs, lobsters and small octopus have made their homes here and sharks are often seen prowling in open water.