Posts Tagged ‘Zenobia’

My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 3: The Zenobia, Cyprus (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler)

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

In this article, guest blogger Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler concludes her list of top 3 dives in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Missed the previous articles? Catch up on Part 1 and Part 2.

Dive Site: Zenobia Wreck

Location: Larnaca, Cyprus
Description: Wreck
Length: 174 meters
Depth: 18 – 42 meters

The Zenobia wreck is one of the top wreck dives on the planet, originally a roll on-roll off (RO-RO) ferry, not unlike the ferries that service the Dover-Calais route between the UK and France.

She sank in 42 meters of water in Larnaca, Cyprus on her maiden voyage in June, 1980 after departing from Malmo, Sweden.  Her final destination was Tartous, Syria but she never made it; after just a short while at sea her captain noticed severe steering problems. Investigations showed that the ballast tanks on the port side were filling with water, and there was nothing they could do to stop it.

The Zenobia actually made it into Larnaca Marina, but the risk of not being able to repair the problem in time and having a huge ferry trapped in a relatively small harbor was too great. She was moved out to sea, and went down to her final resting place 1.5km off the coast on 7th June at 2.30am.

Although the loss of property was huge (estimated at 20 million pounds for the ship itself plus the 200 million pounds of cargo on board) the revenue that this metal giant provides through scuba diving is estimated at over 25 million Euros per year to the tourist industry. This shows you just how great she is – almost all certified divers will visit her at least once… and many return year after year to explore another section of her.


Why is she my favorite dive of all time?

The answer is simple. The sheer size of the Zenobia takes your breath away. She is over 174 meters long from bow to stern. It takes two long dives to cover just the outside of it in any detail.  Lying on her port side the shallowest part is in 18 meters of water and goes all the way down to 42 meters. Wow!


The 24 meters of width become the divers’ paradise. With 4 cargo decks and the promise that no salvage has taken place, this wreck would take over 100 dives to see everything. She was carrying 104 18-wheeler trucks when she went down (and one blue car – the captain’s little blue Lada) which were all shackled in place.


The diver can see each lorry and then look at what each was carrying; one of my favorite features is the spilled cargo of eggs which still lies at 42 meters in the sand. It is strange to see a 30-year-old egg still intact.  In fact, there are even places that have still not been entered by a human in that length of time – and that is exciting stuff for the experienced diver, trust me!

But, there really is something for everyone. Every level of diver, from new divers to the most advanced technical diver, has something to explore. PADI Open Water Divers can dive to a maximum of 18 meters, and so the Zenobia is even accessible to entry-level enthusiasts – this is very unusual for a wreck dive like this.

So there you have it. My top 3 dive sites within the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. It was hard to narrow my favorite dive sites to just three, because there are so many fabulous sites to choose from! Some other favorites of mine include:

  • Thistlegorm wreck, Egypt
  • Dunraven Wreck , Egypt
  • Canyon, Dahab, Egypt
  • The Caves, Cyprus

I could go on forever, but this blog must have limits! I hope you have enjoyed reading it. What are some of your favorites? I would love to hear from you!

Alexandra DimitriouAlexandra Dimitriou-Engeler is a PADI Dive Center owner in Agia Napa, Cyprus. She became a diver in 1992 and received her bachelor’s degree in Oceanography at Plymouth University in 2003. Her love of the ocean has always been her driving force, and this has led to the natural progression of becoming a diving instructor in 2005. She is currently a PADI staff instructor and owner of Scuba Monkey Ltd and is writing a series of guest blogs for PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The post My Top 3 EMEA Dives – Part 3: The Zenobia, Cyprus (Guest blog by Alexandra Dimitriou-Engeler) appeared first on PADIProsEurope.

The Zenobia Week

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

PDD-Zenobia-560x200This special wreck event, the Zenobia week, is fast becoming a tradition in Cyprus and this year was no exception. Dive centers from all over the island have been bringing their guests to Larnaca to dive the Top 3rd wreck in the world and to compete in the PADI Selfie competition.

Winner Core Regulator

Winning Selfie!

PADI loves special events, nothing excites them more. This year PADI sponsored the Zenobia week by offering a free pair of sunglasses to every diver who signed up for either the deep diver or wreck diver speciality course. If that wasn’t enough, participants were asked to get creative above the water by taking a cool selfie and  entering  PADI’s selfie competition. The coolest selfie was carefully selected and the winner won an amazingly beautiful Aqualung CORE regulator…thankyou Mercury Divers!

Larnaca was full of the hustle and bustle of busy divers over the weekend, all running around in “cool” yellow PADI shades snapping shots in the bazarest of angles. Dive equipment was lugged, tanks were filled and suncream was applied as truck after truck arrived at Larnaca Marina. Happy smiles and damp hugs were everywhere as dive buddies reunited on one of the best dives of their lives. Instructors and divemasters were practically dancing at the PADI Pavilion,and their divers were all eager to meet Sascha Engeler, the PADI Regional Manager, to hopefully make their selfie the winning one. Nice try guys,.. The positive energy was everywhere and it was such a joy to be part of it.


Jurg Dahler from Coral Bay Divers with the new Aqualung CORE Regulator

Thanks to everyone who took part of this epic Event. Jurg Dahler from Coral Bay Divers took the winning scuba selfie, so the Aqualung CORE Regulator has gone to a good home. It definitely will get to dive regularly and will be allowed to play with all of its underwater friends!

The post The Zenobia Week appeared first on PADIProsEurope.

Cargo ship sinks in Egypt’s Red Sea

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Photos: Cargo ship sinks in Egypt’s Red Sea, passengers saved – Politics – Egypt – Ahram Online

Zenobia Shipwreck Cyprus

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

Zenobia Shipwreck Cyprus is an important source of income for the dive community.

zenobia underwater wreck in cyprus

Dive the zenobia wreck with Easy Divers Cyprus

The Zenobia shipwreck off Larnaca contributed over €14mln to the economy annually, officials said on Thursday, calling on the government to ban fishing in the area, which has become an important artificial reef.

A statement to mark the end of Zenobia Week, organised by the town’s authorities, diving centres, and the company that owns the wreck, said it was admittedly a one of a kind artificial reef, contributing significantly to biodiversity in the area.

It was also a source of income for Cyprus, contributing over €14mln to the economy per year.

“A large number of tourists chooses Cyprus and Larnaca as a holiday destination just to dive at the specific location,” the statement said.

Local authorities estimate that Zenobia attracts some 45,000 a year, making it one of the best wreck dives.

Unfortunately, according to the town’s tourism promotion association, government departments appeared to ignore the fact. The forget that a boom in Malta a diving tourism mecca has brought billions of euros to the country!

“It is inconceivable for illegal fishing to be continuing in the location, which constitutes the most important reef in Cyprus and should have been protected,” Dinos Lefkaritis said.

The Zenobia  only a two year old ship sank in June 1980 on its maiden voyage in the mediterranean from Sweden to Syria. It is the largest shipwreck in the Mediterranean at 174 metres long, 28 metres wide and 21 metres high.

Its hold contained 108 Lorries full of cargo such as cars, military equipment, telecommunication systems, air conditioning systems, toys and food.

It was also carrying a million eggs, many of which are still intact on the seabed.

The wreck has turned into an artificial reef that hosts thousands of fish species such as groupers, barracuda, bream, and others, along with coral, sea anemones and other underwater vegetation.

Sank at a depth of around 42 metres is easily accessible and is just 10 minutes by boat from the mainland.

The CTO (Cyprus Tourism Board) need to take control of this wreck and make it a cyprus heritage and monument. At present the Zenobia wreck is owned by a private company that can dictate who dive here and who dont!

Zenobia Shipwreck Cyprus important source of income for the dive industry.