The SS Thistlegorm was a British armed Merchant Navy ship built in 1940 by Joseph Thompson & Son in Sunderland, England. This ship was Sunk by German bomber planes in World War II with the loss of four sailors and five members of the Royal Navy gun crew. SS Thistlegorm has lain at the bottom of the sea for over sixty years near Straits of Gubal, Northern Red Sea.
The ship set sail on her fourth and final voyage from Glasgow on 2 June 1941, destined for Alexandria, Egypt. The vessel’s cargo included: Bedford trucks, Universal Carrier armoured vehicles, Norton 16H and BSA motorcycles, Bren guns, cases of ammunition and 0.303 rifles as well as radio equipment, Wellington boots, aircraft parts, railway wagons and two LMS Stanier Class 8F steam locomotives.
In the early hours of 6th October 1941 the Thistlegorm was split in two and sank almost instantly after being hit by 2 bombs from a German long range bomber. The hit only blew a hole in the port side of Hold no. 4 but then cargo tank ammunition ignited, causing the bulk of the damage.
The massive explosion that sank her had blown much of her midships superstructure away and makes the wreck very accessible to divers. The depth of around 30 m (100 feet) at its deepest is ideal for diving without the need for specialist equipment and training.
The SS Thistlegorm Wreck is one of the best dive sites in the world and is actually considered by many as the best Wreck dive in the World!