SS Turkia, Golf of Suez

Nationality: British
Type: Steam Cargo Ship
Year built: 1909
Tonnage: 1671 GRT
Length: 91 m
Width: 13 m
Sunk: 17. May 1941
Location: Gulf of Suez
Min. Depth: 10 m
Max. Depth: 24m




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The SS Turkia

was built in Hull (England) under the name livorno as steam cargo ship served as a schooner with 1671 tons. It was designed by Earles Shipbuilding and Engineering Co (Yard No. 562), with a three-times magnified steam engine that was able to reach 9.5 knots. It was built for Thomas Wilson Sons & Co. also located in Hull. Upon completion in 1910, the SS Livorno was used in her first year as a diverse merchant ship and shuttled between Hull, London and the Adriatic Sea. In 1911 she ran between Hull, Constantinople, Novorossick and Odessa, as well as between St. Petersburg and Cronstadt. In 1916 she was employed for the way Hull – Trieste. With the beginning of the first World War she was used for trade between Manchester Liverpool to St. Petersburg, Revel / Riga and she completed a total of 6 trips. After the warthe ship was often used to transport perishable fruits and frequently coal.


Due to the poor Russian economy

1920-1935, there was finally a trade ban on non-Russian ships and the Ellerman Wilson Line had to reorganize. The Livorno was sold to Greece and arrived in Piraeus in December 1935 under the name SS Turkia.


The last Voyage

of the S.S. Turkia began in New York in May 1941 and should go to Piraeus.
She had government material charged, inter alia explosives, tires, rolls of wire, vehicles and firearms.
Since the Strait of Gibraltar due to the second World War II was blocked, the Turkia had to take the long route through South Africa to the southern Red Sea. She came to the Gulf of Suez, where the disaster took its course.
Probably a fire broke out in the third Cargo space, where inter alia Explosive was stored, which the sinking of the SS Turkia rang. The fire could not be brought under control and 10 minutes later there was a big explosion that sealed the fate of the ship.


Because the SS Turkia

is not in too deep waters, where there is also not a very strong current, you don´t have to be a professional diver to enjoy the dives. Visibility is somewhat less than in other places in the Red Sea, because the Gulf of Suez has only about 60 meters depth and is a very busy waterway.


The wreck lies on the sandy bottom,

with the bow towards the coast in 10 – 24 meters depth. The trunk is intact, although some parts having holes in the upper areas. The surrounding seabed is littered with debris from the wreck. The bow is irradiated by sunlight and surrounded by schools of fishes.  The area around the rear portion of the wreck is covered with wire wheels and car tires.


The superstructure has external

companionways, the rooms are easily entered. The saloon sits below the chart room, with a corridor running port-starboard. The accommodation areas are littered with crockery and bottles.


Over the stern

and the propeller has partially set a fishing net, which is full of shells.


The wreck of the SS Turkia

has a quite extraordinary variety of flora and fauna. Soft corals, purple fan corals, nudibranchs, schools of small barracudas, groupers, angel fish, large mackerel have the wreck chosen as a home.