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1996 FLOOD

by Rosana Sparano

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Divers Intl. Sharm el Maya – Nov. 1996

Autumn 1996 it was just another working day at the Divers Intl. Dive Center,  but with a slight difference, it was raining !

As usual the day started with coffee and a quick chat, as we were talking there was suddenly an incredible noise.

The wall, dividing the garden of the dive center and the hotel had literally exploded and we were abruptly invaded by litres and litres of filthy water.

The dive center was approximately 1-2 metres below sea level and just across the road from the Inter-Continental Hotel (today Iberotel Palace, Sharm el-Maya), the garden, was filled like a swimming pool in about 15 minutes.

We relocated as much office equipment and diving gear as possible into the transfer vans. The situation became quite dangerous and had started to cause structural damage to the attached Barakuda Hotel, it was time to abandon ship ! all that was left to do was to close the shutters so that what was left inside would remain so.

The wet suits would have to wait and be salvaged later, or so we thought, we had miscalculated the quantity of oil in and around Sharm el Maya.

An incredible experience, all dive instructors have a story to tell but not many have actually snorkelled in their Dive Centre …

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Old Sharm during the flooding 1996…

… and Divers Intl. at the Barakuda Hotel…

… which is now the Tiran Mall