Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea Hardcover – 18 Oct 2006
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From the Author
From the Author
Underwater Publication of the year for 2007!
Finally published in October 2006 after 9 years of painstaking research, the shipwrecks detailed in this work rate amongst the greatest in the world. They includes vessels from the 19th Century such as the "Carnatic" lost in 1869, right up to those which foundered in the late 20th Century - such as the "Million Hope" in 1996. They also include the legendary "Thistlegorm" which has become the world's most visited underwater location.
There are nineteen major featured shipwrecks - including two which are only recently discovered. Each of these is exposed in minute detail in terms of the ship's history, dimensions, machinery and cargo with the inclusion of whatever historic photographs are available. Then we have an account of that all-important final voyage which provides the reason why each vessel is found where she is today - underwater. Finally, I have included a personal description of each wreck - from stem to stern, as part of my own overall survey of each craft. None of these wrecks were deliberately sunk as diving attractions, so each one has its own very unique story to tell.
I have then added much shorter accounts of another eighteen vessels which were too small to be classified as ships - tugboats, barges etc. Whilst not significant ships in their own right, each of these is still able to provide an enjoyable dive. Finally, I have included the briefest possible details of approx. 250 additional ships names which relate to vessels that are either not yet discovered, far too deep, lost elsewhere in the Red Sea or, in some cases, never even existed...
Several important factors set this book apart from other works; Firstly, accuracy of information. Each subject shipwreck has been studied and scrutinised in minute detail to provide the reader with the best possible assessment. Secondly, Rico Oldfield - a marine artist of the highest possible calibre, has illustrated each of the major shipwrecks. So that he could produce artwork of the utmost standard, each of the main shipwrecks was photographed from end to end in order to produce an accurate montage from which he was able work. The result has now moved shipwreck guides for scuba divers onto a new and higher plane.
Altogether, the work contains some 62,000 words, 23 individual works of art, 34 historic photographs, 125 original colour photographs plus 3 charts.
With plenty of new information about some of the world's most popular wrecks and many myths destroyed, this book has already proved to be an excellent read for diver and non-diver alike. Do enjoy.
My very best wishes.
About the Author
Ned Middleton is a well known diving expert and has written extensively for magazines all over the world. This is his fourth book. Rico Oldfield is an outstanding marine artist. His work is regularly reproduced in specialist diving magazines both here and abroad.
Top customer reviews
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Within minutes of opening this book I wanted to go and dive 3 wrecks I'd never heard of in the Red Sea!
The format is very like Rod McDonald's books (and maybe others), but that's no criticism (or slight, I don't know if one followed the other) as both provide history of the wrecks, details of what you'll see and stunning artwork allowing you to picture the wreck (and in the Red Sea, of course, you'll probably be able to see most of a wreck from a distance on most dives)
A very good book, recommended for anyone off to the Red Sea to dive OR armchair divers.
Great pictures - really helps you get to grips with a wreck. Rico Oldfield does a good job showing what the wreck would look like if you could see it all in one go. Perfect for orienting yourself.
If you're doing any of the classic Red Sea liveaboard itineraries, this is the book for you.
It was very clear from the first few pages that the research into this book was extensive and obtained over many years from a variety of sources stretching way beyond basic internet browsing. Many of the wrecks featured are British and depending on the type of ship or nature of its demise the records could be scattered all over the UK from Southampton to Kew and up to Glasgow covering Board of Trade enquiries or ship's registration details. Many of these records can only be obtained in person by visiting government archives, climbing twisty old staircases and delving through thick faded journals and dusty copies of 100 year old court hearings where details of collisions, sinkings, disciplinary action and other records are stored for eternity. In other words, Ned has well and truly left no stone unturned and his attention to detail and obvious enthusiasm for research shines through in every chapter.
That said, there is still a very good balance between detail and the human interest story for each ship. Not everyone likes to read pages of technicalities about the ships engines or structural dimensions and pleasingly this book provides just the main items of interest. Each chapter is a short story about the ship and its history, how it met its demise and what it's like to scuba dive on it. Every wreck is unique and so is its story with some that were bombed and others that collided. As a result the book is a collection of interesting accounts each with an appeal in their own right. Some of the more famous wrecks receive greater attention and coverage such is their attraction and interest to the diving industry.
The book is a quality hardback, professionally published and beautifully designed with photography that compliments the written content. By far one of it's best features are the illustrations by marine artist Rico Oldfield. These depict each wreck exactly as you would see them underwater.
Who would like this book? Red Sea wreck safari trips will set you back almost 1000 quid with flights. You would be mad not to add another twelve quid or so for this book which will probably give you ten times more information than the dive guide on the boat. Information about wrecks is sometimes sketchy. Much of it is simply made up or inflated to give greater dramatic effect in a dive briefing. Ned Middleton's book sets the record straight and lays down in print enough factual information to greatly enhance the pleasure and excitment that a diver will get when swimming through the historic icon shipwrecks of the Egyptian Red Sea. It is also great armchair reading if you are not a diver allowing you a glimpse of maritime history spanning over 150 years.
My only criticism is that it weighs around a kilogram so I suggest that if you don't want to leave your fins at home when flying off to Egypt then read it before you travel!
This is one very serious book. Having dived the wrecks and read the book (several times already) I can say it is accurate and well worth the money.
I hope I don't have to wait so long for the next one.
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