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technical diving

The Jolanda

Constructed in 1964, the Jolanda was a 1,907 ton Cypriot cargo freighter, 74.8m long with a beam of 11.7m.

While in passage to Aqaba on 1st April 1980, in rough seas, the Jolanda went aground at the tip of the Ras Mohamed National Park at Turtle Reef, 27’43.300N, 34’15.000E, renaming the reef in the process.

She remained perched on the edge of the reef on her port side until mid 1986 when, during a storm, the thick steel cables holding her in place snapped and she slipped to a rumoured 95 metres.

Her cargo mainly consisted of toilets, sinks, baths, rolls of lino and the Captain’s BMW 320 car. This now lies scattered from 10 to 205 metres, with much to be seen in the 10 to 20 metres range, including the remains of the Captain’s car, baths and a large pile of toilet bowls.

Finding the Jolanda

After several attempts, Leigh Cunningham and Mark Andrews found the wreck of the Jolanda in 2005, broken into two sections. In the summer they discovered the bow which came into view at 130m and sat between 145m - 160m.

Leigh and Mark did not stop there. On 9 December 2005 they dropped down on the stern section, the deepest part being at 205m. They had just completed the deepest dive made on a sunken shipwreck using open circuit scuba.

More about Leigh Cunningham






Jolanda (c) Peter Rowlands




Jolanda (c) Peter Rowlands