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Diving at shipwreck Salem Express
|Name Dive Site:||Salem Express|
|Depth: ||15-30m (49-98ft)|
|Visibility: ||10-30m (32-98ft)|
|Accessibility: ||Boat, Live-aboard|
|Inserted/Added by: ||lars, © Author: Lars Hemel|
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The Salem Express was a 100 meter long passenger and vehicle ferry originally build in France, La Seyne in 1964. It changed names frequently and it was not until 1988 when it got its final name the Salem Express. It sank on a rough night in December 1991 when it was on its return from a pilgrimage to Mecca and struck Hyndman Reef. A hole appeared in the hull when she hit the reef and water was entering the ship. Within ten minutes she rolled over on her starboard side and sank. Officially, there were 690 passengers on board, but many reports conclude that this ship was well over crowded. Rescue attempts were made but with the rough weather that day only 180 people survived. Diving at this wreck is officially permitted but many dive operators might refuse out of respect for the survivors. As you know, they all might be on one of these boats at least once in their lives.
Propellers, corridors, upper decks, the restaurant and the bridge can all still be dived at. Passenger luggage such as rolls of carpet, stereos, bicycles and chairs can all be found in and near the wreck. Its unused lifeboats will overwhelm you with grief and respect as it reminds you of its tragic past and the speed and force of nature.
Coral coverage and marine life is good for such a young ship, but don't compare it with ships such as the Thistlegorm that lie on the ocean floor for more than half a century. It can be dived by beginners as well as professionals as the top of the wreck is located at only 10 meters of depth. It is definitely a must do dive if you get the chance.
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