Egypt Red Sea Shipwrecks - The Hey Daroma

The Hey Daroma

By Ned Middleton

Note: Ned Middleton is a professional Underwater Photo-Journalist who has published a number of articles in recent years about Red Sea Wrecks. Please send corrections to Ned Middleton here.

The Ship

Built by Ardrossan Dockyards Ltd, the Hey Daroma was launched as the "Lairds Loch" in August 1940. Officially described as a General Cargo Vessel, she was re-named Hey Daroma in 1969. She displaced 1,736 tonnes and had a single action 8 Cylinder Oil-fired engine capable of producing a top speed of 14 Knots. She was 83.8 m x 12.5 m with a draught of 3.6m. The ship was owned and operated by Sefinot Ltd of Eilat at the time of her loss.

The Loss of the Hey Daroma

On the night of 3rd September 1970, the Hey Daroma sailed from Eilat with a cargo of water and struck an inshore Reef near Nabq just a few miles north of Sharm el Sheikh, about an hour later. All the crew were safely rescued but attempts to refloat the vessel became something of a pantomime with the first Tugboat on the scene only managing to get her wire fouled around her own propeller. A second Tugboat then arrived but only succeeded in towing the first Tugboat back to Eilat.

The Captain was then informed it was "unknown when any Tugboat would be available." The next attempt was most unusual and states that the owners were attempting to "push" the wreck off the reef by means of large tractors. How this was supposed to be achieved, when the same reports states that the ship was 2 Kilometres from the shore, was not explained. The Hey Daroma was eventually abandoned as a constructive total loss.

Diving the Hey Daroma

This vessel now resides in an area which is slightly "off the beaten track" and, consequently there are conflicting reports about whether or not this shipwreck is "diveable." If possible, clarification will be added a later date.