Sadly this book openly shows looting by Divers in contravention of the laws of Egypt. Not only does it show photographs of artefacts illegally removed from a number of Egyptian shipwrecks, but it also goes further by demonstrating the use of a lifting bag - and with it, the removal of yet more artefacts. Worst of all, however, those removed from the "Thistlegorm" were stolen from an unofficial British War Grave. Four Merchant Seamen and five Royal Navy Sailors died when this ship was bombed and sunk in 1941.
Putting these emotive issues to one side, however, one also finds the factual content is lacking in many areas. Each chapter commences with an artist's impression of the entire shipwreck across two pages. No camera can capture such a picture - so such a picture should give the diver a good feel for the entire site. These are followed by technical information, details of each vessel's loss and, of course, diving conditions - all lavishly supported by good quality photographs.
Unfortunately, the content completely fails to match such promise. There are 18 featured "shipwrecks" - one from Jordan, twelve from Egypt, three from Sudan and two from Eritrea. Problems begin with the choice of some of these vessels. Four were not even ships at all - one being Cousteau's long-abandoned undersea habitat "Conshelf" and another a pile of Amphorae which has long-since disappeared altogether. The remaining two were of vessels which were so small they were never classified as ships.
The real problem, however, is one of detail and accuracy. Four of the wrecks are not identified at all, one has a fictitious name, another has a slightly incorrect name and several are confused with each other. All seem to have problems with either identification or technical information. For example, on pages 74 & 75 are two photographs of the bows of the "Chrisoula K" and two of the stern of the "Kimon M" - all reported as being the same ship. This is followed by a wreck identified as the "Seastar" (No shipwreck called "Seastar" exists). The detail, however, is based on the "Kimon M" - which is not mentioned at all. This offering commences with an artist's impression across pages 77 & 78 clearly showing a relatively intact shipwreck, minus bows, lying squarely on her starboard side. Having, therefore, set the scene with an artist's impression of a ship lying on it's side, we are now treated to actual photographs of this vessel. Two of these show the stern to be upright. So which is it? Either she is one her side or she is not... On closer examination, however, we find these supporting pictures to be from different ships altogether. As any diver with a modest knowledge of these shipwrecks will recognise, photographs B & E are from the "Kimon M," C & D are from the "Chrisoula K" and F is from the "Kingston" - but in this book they are placed together as this fictitious "Seastar!"
I could go on and on, describing the many problems within this book - but the point is made. In confusing one, two and sometimes three vessels with each other, this book continues to frustrate the many Divers who enjoy their Wreck Diving in Egypt - and has done so ever since it first appeared. Padding or what?
Not for the first time, this particular publisher has produced a very low quality product whereby the content appears to have been cobbled together from whatever information and photography was available from different sources. This is a book that is not worth buying - at any price.