||Rosalie Moller (08.10.1941)
This is not a dive for the inexperienced!
|The Rosalie Moller is one of the Red Sea's best wreck dives. This once proud ship now lies on a sandy, muddy bottom with her Titanic-like bow down in the sand, and this is truly a magnificent sight. Both masts stand proud and straight, the substanial cross bracing makes a perfect shelter for many hundreds of glassfish, and the masts are flanked with winches. The foremast boasts a magnificent crows nest at 22m. Fish shoal around the cross bearers and the mast bases make superb photo studios. Moving aft the bridge is alive with glassfish.
The Vessel: The 3966 ton, 315 ft long ship began life in the ship yards of Barclay and Curle, at Glasgow, Scotland as the Francis in 1910.
In 1931 she was sold to the Reederei Moller Line of Skandinavia and registered in Shanghai under the British flag as the Rosalie Moller. She was refitted with an aft lifeboat deck, additional galley and stores and gained the M on her funnel. For the next few years she operated along the east coast of China between Shanghai and Tsinatao, until 1938 when she was requisitioned into the Merchant Navy to deliver coal to naval ports such as Gibraltar, where much needed bunkering supplies would be required for the forthcoming convoys.
The final voyage: In 1941 after an extensive refit she left Britain bound for Alexandria, via the Cape of Good Hope with yet another cargo of coal. Stopping at Durban and Aiden on route, she finally entered the Straits of Gubal, and was ordered to anchorage H to await further instructions.
The sinking: In the early hours of Oct 8 1941, two days after the sinking of the Thistlegorm, while at anchor she was attacked by a "staffel" of Heinkel He 111 bombers. 2 bombs exploded in number 4 hold causing heavy damage in the starboard quarter. She rapidly filled with water and began to settle. The weight of her cargo plus the water kept her in a level attitude. She sank quickly with the loss of only 2 lives, the survivors taking to the lifeboats.