In the past it had been possible for pedaloes, small boats and windsurfers to occasionally enter the area by skimming across the ropes that previously cordoned-off the area just off the beach.Long term instructor Chris Armstrong – the manager of the project – told us that “the idea was to build something more permanent to keep out potentially hazardous boats and to make it much safer for all our divers” – and Mehriz Abdel Ghafour came up with the detailed plan.Chris explained that other dive centres are welcome to use the facility but they are asked to abide by the safety guidelines of Red Sea Diving College – for example ascents are to be made only within the confined area.
Within the area there are several ascent and descent lines and an array of useful training aids that make this area probably the best and safest learn-to-dive facility in the Red Sea.
This section of Naama Bay is in the process of transition – as well as the safety aspect, it is becoming one of the most interesting Confined Water facilities in the Red Sea.
Last year a large number of Amphoras and four metal structures were sunk and divers can now see a new reef emerging from these objects.
On the Amphoras small Raspberry coral colonies are starting to develop – Boxer shrimps have also found a new home. A large moray eel was found in one of the pots recently.
A College team has also given nature a bit of a push – transplanted corals have begun to be attached to the metal structures. This project, carried out in conjunction with Dr Mohammed Salem – Head of the Ras Mohammed National Park – will be completed in August. The corals were taken, under strict guidelines, from the soon-to-be salvaged wreck of the Million Hope.
It is a challenge for the diving community to create interesting and safe training for their guests. At Red Sea Diving College they seem to have got it about right.
Red Sea Diving College would like to thank the following for their work in building the Confined area: Chris Armstrong, Federico Valle, Tamer Khazragui, Mark Chilton, Jenya Chechkova and Pete Bruce.