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Scuba Diving in the Red Sea
Dive Site: Rosalie Moller
Location: 27°39'03"N, 33°46'17"E
Description: Coal ship
Length: 108 metres (354 feet)
Depth: 35 metres to the deck (115 feet), sea bed at 50 metres (164 feet)
Visibility: 20 - 25 metres (65 - 80 feet)
The Rosalie Moller sank in the 1940's with a cargo of Welsh coal, which is all that can be seen in the holds except for in the engine room. It was hit by a bomb on the starboard side, leaving some damage. Penetration is possible as the gaps are large, but is not necessary as the interesting parts of the wreck are visible from the outside. The prop and rudder are worth checking out because they are immense. The deck is very clean and in tact except for the funnel which lies on its side. There are ladders leading to the bridge and passageways across the decks. The sea life is fantastic, with thousands of glassfish on and around the deck and the possibility of spotting tuna and other large fish, perhaps even a reef shark.
Rosalie Moller Resources
(JANUARY 2008 Update)
Yes, the comments are indeed true, we are destroying the very purpose of visiting these sites.
Having made another dive on the RS recently the stern mast is now completely over and has several new ropes around it, probably from the last boat to tie upon. A real shame. Our boat moored on a buoy fixed to a strong mooring point right at the stern.
The fish life just gets better and more prolific. Large schools of jacks chase around schools of fusileers and masses of bluefins. The decks are awash with glass and lionfish. We swam to the hold just past amidships and the galley area still has pans and other items in. Thankfully I think divers are realising the significance of leaving these artifacts where they are, unlike the Thistlegorm in the past where bullets and motorbike fittings have been brought up.
We were lucky because we used Nitrox every dive enabling a lower mix and longer bottom time. We had superb conditions with great visibility and full sun in the early morning. It's best to plan the dive to explore a small area rather than try and fast swim all over as you don't see much.
Our dive started down the line to the stern post and along the area between the port companionway and deck stuctures, some two metres above the deck in 34m. We cruised to the galley and our furthest point over the next holds. The wreck starts to become deeper so turning around we ascended to 32-30m above the wreck to appreciate its vastness in the still current. Shoals swept this way and that curling around deck fittings. The stern mast lies to port. At the stern we swam out off the wreck to behold a wondrous; sight the immense prop and rudder below. We could just make the seabed out at 50m.
What a great dive, no dolphins this time but I did spot something you don't see very often. On the port side hull edge top about 25m along the deck from the stern, teetering on the edge, next to some railings, was a large cnidarian. Its casing was about 15cm high, 6cm across, and the animal's tentacles were pure white. It’s very similar to those found in the Canary Islands, and is in the Red Sea id books. Let's hope that no careless fin destroys it.
I dived the Moller in May 2004 at 06.45. Only six of our group dived but what a dive - utterly fantatsic words, fail me. Even now I would give my right leg to dive it again. We had restrictions we were not allowed to penetrate as at the time I was nearly finishing my BSAC Dive Leader course with CADSAC 1103.
I first dived the Rosalie Moller in November 98. One of the best wreck dives in the Red Sea and definitely one of the more challenging ones. The shallowest part of the wreck being the top of the mast at 17 meters and you can also get a fierce current running at times. I did see some truck axles and wheels in what looked like a machine shop on the first dive (or was that a narc?). The triple expansion engine is worth a butchers. Because of the depth, this site isn't crowded, although I’ve not dived it since Dec '99.
The Rosalie Moller drawing is no longer up to date as the chimney is down since 2003.
Just to mention the reason the funnel is down, is due to a dive boat mooring on the funnel and pulling it over. Too late for most of the other wrecks, but its way overdue to have strong mooring points fitted on or near these wrecks.
Worth noting that the stern mast will not be vertical for much longer - this is one of the 'fixed' mooring points for dive boats and the whole mast was rocking in its cradle when we dived her in Nov 2006. The other mooring point was a davit on the port side and that too was only held on by the thinnest of metal. I fully expect to have both mast and davit gone by the time I dive her again. The rest of the wreck is fantastic though - if you can see it through the glassfish!
The dive map is wrong in that the funnel is fallen to the port side and bears a large M on it.
I was part of only a small group from our liveaboard that dived this site due to its depth; I was really glad that I did. Due to the slightly poorer viz and the clouds of glass fish, the wreck has a really eerie feel to it which made me feel like I was discovering it for the first time. A great dive which rivaled the Thistlegorm in my view. I cannot understand why fixed, man-made seabed moorings aren't a standard feature, we are destroying the very reason for being at these sites.
I recently dived the Rosalie Moller and what an amazing dive, thousands and thousands of glass fish. We dropped straight down on too the wreck on a negative entry fast decent to maximise our time. We were the only two divers on the wreck and dropped through the shoals of fish being bait balled to find a lovely Nudibranch sat on the rope at about 33 metres. A stunning wreck as an experienced UK DM I’m pleased it’s out of the range of novice divers.
Derek Aughton, BSAC Dive Master | 19/11/2009
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