08 Sep Liveaboard Croatia: Wreck ElHawi Star
ElHawi Star was launches in 1957 out of Hamburg under name Valeria. She had 2 sisterships, Virgilia and Volumnia. They were all strong, robust built as their goal was to sail North Atlantic in winter time, as well as Transatlantic. She had 3598 BRT and was 102 m long. She was powered with two fourstroke 8V engines of total 3600HP, which was enough for 14,5 knots of maximum speed. Her first owner sold her due to lack of storage. After many ownership changes, she was last sold in 1981 to Saudi Arabia based company.
Her last voyage was not long as she sank soon after she departure from Rijeka on the night of 12. December 1982. She was on her way to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but sank just minutes after departure due to wrong weight distribution. After she sank she felt in oblivion.
In 2003 local fishermen spotted oil spill in Rijeka’s harbor and soon realized that oil is leaking from sunken ship in front of harbor, from forgotten Elhawi Star. In 2007 came the good news for divers as the wreck of Elhawi Star was now accessible for divers to explore it. As there were no commercial dives to the ship before that and it is also forbidden to take anything from the ship, dive is really interesting as one can find the ship pretty much intact, with pictures still hanging from the walls and personal stuff from the sailors still in its positions. From the outside you can easily find chains, cranes, rescue boats and much more.
ElHawi Star lies 500m from breakwater on her starboard side a bit more than 40m deep. Her shallowest part, stern, lies some 28m deep. Her propeller is rally impressive, bigger than divers. Beside impressive propeller ElHawi Star offers much more, especially inside, with many cabins and storage. Also interesting are her two masts and 102m long port side hull.
El Hawi Star is a mysterious ship, who was long forgotten, but that is why we added her to our liveaboard trip in Croatia, specialized in wrecks.