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Om Jamr Reef

Old Diver Diaries .. 2nd Episode

During my initial work in Hurghada as the director of the Magawish diving center, I heard about a wreck next to reef close to the island of Om Jamr and called Shabrur Om Jamer “Om Jamr Reef”, and Shabrur “Reef” for those who do not know is a reef submerged under water and the difference between it and the race that the race takes on a semi-regular form, we can call “Elvenstone” and “Wood House” reefs, shabrur as fishermen call it.

Om Jamr Wreck

It was a great place to dive but it was far from Magawish, which is located in the south of Hurghada. It was very rare to manage regular trips to it especially in bad weather, but I was determined to find it, as did Rudy Knayeb and other pioneers before. Every time I take the opportunity to catch a trip from Magawish to the reef and take one of the divers with me and go down to wipe out a specific part of the reef. God has helped us to find it in the far north of the reef “Ras al-Shabrur” and that was at the fourth dive, and then locating it was easy because you saw the effects of the destruction in the reef, then you see iron and pipes scattered along the reef, at 54 meters depth and then the propeller  of the boat at the depth of 60-65 meters and the boat sitting “even keel” on the sand at a depth of 95 meters with a second rack installed on the column and on the back a lot of pipes and tools.

It was an oil supply boat hit the reef and broke one of the propellers then drowned, and I noticed when I found it the first time that there was a lot of old robs and parachutes, which indicates that many people had tried to extract  the propeller but didn’t succeed, it was a bronze propeller its diameter about 2 meters.

Alex and teammates.

I dived to the boat many times  and noticed in one occasion that one of the propellers  had been taken, but the one of the dives that I’ll never forget in the mid-nineties during my second period in Magawish, when one of my dearest friends “Karim Helal” was the owner and director of  “Divers Lodge Diving Center” “accompanied him and his wife “Jenny”on a trip to Om Jamra reef. His wife was teaching tri-mix course to a German trainer named Alex. I was asked to show them the place without reaching the same depth. I took with me 15 liter tanks, and i left them when we arrived to 70 meters depth and pointed to the boat then I left them and completed my own dive “as usual” and during my deco stops I was passing the time by watching 3  divers hanging by a balloon in stops deeper than mine.











Decompression Pain

Pain Again

Alex entered the pressure room in Magawish. As I expected, the pain was completely eliminated after the second period of oxygen breathing at 18 meters. Therefore, his treatment schedule would take about 3 hours. While we were in the room I was wondering what caused these symptoms. I remembered that one of the surface pressure rooms used in the commercial diving reported several joints pains, despite the commitment of all tables.

Pressure Room

Finally, they found that the reason was because one of the oxygen masks in the room was damaged and the divers were forced to hold it all the time. This caused a slow circulation in the bent arm, causing a accumulation of nitrogen which lead to these symptoms. Then I jumped to the intercom and asked Alex, which arm did you hold the SMB? The right he answered, I asked and you used it all the time? He answered yes!

Of course, this explains the accumulation of nitrogen in the arm and the occurrence of symptoms, and after that we alert the divers to change both hands during the use of “SMB.”

I don’t remember that I dived so much later to that wreck and the last time it was with Mahmoud Shark in the dive that preceded his death, May Allah have mercy on him and forgive him.

Hossam Nassef

I am a Diving Medicine Consultant operating in Hurghada and Marsa Alam, I do Underwater Photography (visit my web site www.redseadiversandphotographers.com), Desert Safaris.

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