When speaking of ships of the grandest scale, one name always comes to mind: theTitanic. Just off the coast of Cypress, hidden beneath the clear, azure waters, lies a ship known as the Titanic of the Mediterranean: the MS Zenobia. Destined for life as a ferry, the Zenobia was not as glamorous or luxurious as the Titanic, but like the famed and ill-fated White Star Line ship, theZenobia also sank on her maiden voyage.
Departing Sweden for Syria in May of 1980, the ship almost immediately began experiencing steering and listing problems. Despite the crew’s efforts and a series of in-port repairs, the problems persisted…but no icebergs to blame here. The cause was an error in a computer program that controlled the ballast tanks, causing them to pump in excessive water. Continuing to list from side to side, the ship was evacuated and finally sank in the early morning hours of June 7, 1980. There were no casualties.
Today, the MS Zenobia is considered a world class dive site, accessible to divers of both recreational and technical skill levels. Open water divers will find the top of the wreck at about 50 feet down, and with dive lights will be able to see the scattering of trucks that were on the vessel when she went down. Two trucks are still chained to the top deck. At about 88 feet, divers will find the bridge which features some swim-through areas. The ship rests on her port side at a full depth of 137 feet.
The Zenobia wreck today
Tec divers and rebreather divers can penetrate the wreck, heading into the lower cargo decks intended to hold cars and trucks making their way to their destinations. Reels and lights are a must for this lengthy exploration. The ship is a tremendous 584 feet long, and divers can make their way through the cargo decks to the engine room.
It’s just a short ride out to the wreck site from the harbor. Visibility in this region is commonly 60 feet or more, and the water temperatures range from around 80 degrees at the height of summer to lower 60s in the fall and winter. The dive season in Cyprus runs March through November. You’ll enjoy great visibility and a unique adventure on your trip to the MS Zenobia, the Titanic of the Mediterranean. Icebergs not included.
Images via Wikipedia
Share this post: