Abu Galawa Kebir

Abu Galawa Kebir

Abu Galawa Kebir (tug boat wreck of the Teinstin)

Have you ever heard of the ‘Tienstin’? Or maybe you recognize it by its original Chinese name 'Tien Hsing. However, if this seems too complicated for you it is also more familiarly recognized as the Abu Galawa. If you are already a diver in The Red Sea you will already be somewhat familiar with the famous tugboat.

This ship's history is still, to this day, almost unknown. Its identity has been discovered however there are doubts throughout some shipwreck researchers. So as a courtesy, we would like to inform you that the information you are about to read is based on the most recent research that is thought to be most likely correct but not 100% proven facts.

The Tien Hsing (Abu Galawa) was built in 1935 by the extremely talented shipyard Ta Chung Hua in Shanghai. Originally the ship was known to be designed as a harbor tug, so the mystery as to why it reached all the way to The Red Sea is unknown.

Much research can suggest that her journey took place during The Second World War however this is not confirmed. Although what is confirmed is that The Tien Hsing was seized by British armed forces all the way back in 1941, just 6 years after the ship was built.

In 1943 on the 26th of October, the beautiful tug boat was on her voyage from Suez to Massawa when she took aground on the reef Abu Galawa Kabir. This tragedy is still one of history's best kept secrets as the reason behind it is still unknown and whether or not people were harmed is a mystery.

This tragedy has turned into a beautiful destination for divers. It is now a magical overgrown wreck that is easy to explore. Although it is only for experienced wreck divers, it is very suitable for night dives.

Exploring the wreck of the Tien Hsing is one of the most famous wrecks in The South of The Red Sea. This could be because it is now lavishly overgrown and provides an enchanting aura with rich personality. And thanks to the perfectly shallow depth and the rarity of the currents it is very easy to dive and wonderful for night dives.

The wreck perches slightly inclined to its starboard on the reef wall. Half buried in the sand the propeller lies at a depth of 18m while the bow reaches up to the surface. As the hull does not fully rest on the reef, diving underneath it near the stern is absolutely possible and the sights are simply enchanting.

All of the wood from the boat is now history. Leftover is only Steel superstructure which is now enriched with coral both hard and soft. Around the wreck you will often find Napoleon fish and white tip sharks. So, as you can imagine, not only is this wreck a favorite for divers but also for photographers as the scenery is absolutely photo worthy.