Diving the Wreck Umbria

The wreck Umbria has a cargo of 360.000 bombs that makes the exploring of the wreck still more exciting. The Umbria is one of the most famous sunken ships in the world. The Umbria was built in Hamburg in 1912 and started life as a freighter. It’s big enough to give you plenty to explore but small enough to cover in one dive.

The central part of the ship can even be explored without breathing apparatus and there is much to be said for getting a general impression of the wreck with just musk and fins. Corals and fish are plentiful in this area. The fish which have made the Umbria their home are use to divers and let them come to close quarters, almost posing for photographers.

The depth it lies in means you get plenty of bottom time and there is plenty of easy penetration to be done. For those who want to, it is possible to get to the engine room, in the holds, the bakery and thoroughly explore the interior of the wreck. The cargo of fiat lagunas, wine bottles and munitions provide interest and the wreck is festooned with coral and fish life. Even just swimming the length of the wreck and observing the holds from a distance is an excellent experience.

Be sure to head around the stern of the wreck to the propeller, and there is a nice swim through underneath the large rudder, which is home to lots of snapper and some featherstars. On one of the gangways towards the collapsed funnel midships live some tiny cleaner shrimps, and if you put your fingers on the handrail they will come up and begin to ‘clean’ you, which is very entertaining. We did 3 dives on the Umbria whilst in Sudan; I could have happily done three more. It really does deserve its reputation as one of the world’s best dives.

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