Hercules C130 military aircraft has scuttled off Aqaba, Jordan to create a new artificial reef for divers in the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea.
The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, in cooperation with the Royal Jordanian Navy and the Aqaba Port Corporation, sank the plane on November 16, 2017. It is approximately 300 meters off the coast, with press and politicians and a brass band in attendance, a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft was sunk as an artificial wreck for scuba diving off the shores of Aqaba, Jordan.
The new dive site forms part of a project spearheaded by King Abdullah II himself, a drive to promote tourism to a country which has escaped relatively unscathed in the aftermath of an overall decline in visitors to the Red Sea, of which Egypt constitutes the vast majority.
Before the sinking, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority removed all fuel, oil, paint and hazardous materials from the aircraft. In order to comply with environmental best practice. The aircraft towed from the Royal Jordanian Air Force’s headquarters in Amman to Aqaba. For repurposed for its new life as an artificial reef.
The Hercules has been sunk in a very easily accessible location, not far from the wreck of the Cedar Pride, and only a few metres from the M42 ‘Duster’ anti-aircraft vehicle, more commonly known as ‘the Tank’
With an average maximum depth of around 16m and a flat bottom, the Hercules is upright and almost level, with a length of 30m and a wingspan of around 40m. The site is prone to only the lightest of currents, and descent onto the wreck is aided by the excellent Red Sea visibility, meaning it will almost always be visible from the surface.
aircraft wrecks always have a slightly eerie feel about them, even if – as is the case with the C130 Hercules – they were deliberately sunk as artificial reefs. Although nobody would argue that ships belong under the water anymore so than aircraft, ships are at least sunk within their natural habitat, whereas the nose cone of an aeroplane looming above you lends an especially unnatural feel for the dive.
Hovering outside the cockpit at 12 m is a particularly strange sensation – it seems so very small when you get up-close and personal, whereas back on land it would be several meters above your head. Several divers took the opportunity to straddle the nose cone which – while very strongly not recommended for preservation of the aircraft – gives some idea as to the strange warping of perspective as you start the dive peering into the cockpit windows.
That Aqaba’s C130 Hercules wreck has been made so accessible is, of course, deliberate and, as such, is not likely to attract the serious, dangerous wreck-penetrating techies, but that was never the intention. It’s a fun-for-all-the-family excursion which divers of all experience levels can enjoy, while their non-diving partners can snorkel above them. There’s plenty to see of the aircraft itself, and divers who wish to make more of the experience can visit the tank, or explore the coral and seagrass of the surrounding area which – thanks to the mild current – will no doubt aid the development of coral around the structure of the wreck itself.
It was only Aqaba in our plans for the one day on our cruise. But we wanted to see both Petra and Wadi Rum on that day. The tours organised... read more by the ship required us to choose one or the other, so we contacted Wonders Travel and Tourism. Yaseen offers us a perfect plan. and we did the both Petra and Wadi Rum !!!
It was a long day, but it was worth it! The service provided was excellent and I would strongly recommend Wonders to anyone visiting Aqaba.
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. A lot of time in the minibus but worth it to visit Petra. Our guide was very knowledgeable and was happy to answer all our questions... read more on Petra and Jordan as well as the tour.
I can recommend the Tour to anyone who is in Aqaba.
We were visiting Jordan for the day while onboard Jewel of the Seas, my husband was unable to go due to the walking conditions so I was wondering how I'd... read more manage to get a tour on my own. Yaseen from wonder tourism was fantastic with very prompt replies to any queries I had and I was able to join others in a mini bus. The tour was very well organised, we were picked up at the port, taken to the office to pay then on to Petra with a toilet/shopping stop on the way. Petra is amazing and our guide(sorry can't remember your name) was very informative and interesting. A fantastic buffet lunch of local dishes was also included, some of our group were scared to try things and ended up eating pasta, but I had a bit of all the dishes and they were very tasty. I think the tours to Petra seem expensive, but they include entrance to Petra which is expensive on its own. Highly recommended tour
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience,
The day went so quick but we seen and learned so much . Bus driver Reda was very friendly and helpful. our guide had so... read more much knowledge and was super helpful and explained everything in great detail. Petra it self was amazing - Thoroughly recommend you do this trip with wonders when you are in Aqaba. Thanks again Helga and Mark.
My wife and I loved this! We were fetched right on front of our hotel by our tour guide Mohammad. I liked his calm demeanour. Never asked us for a... read more review on TA. He was so wonderful and knew so much of the history, followed up with several personal anecdotes and knew how to keep the group captivated and involved. Petra is 150% incredible beauty and definitely worth exploring! I'd love to be able to go back. It was definitely worth it and something you should do if you love history. Fantastic experience, highly recommend !
What a treat our tour to Petra was. Great guide and driver.
Very professional and knowledgeable. Very happy with the overall process and tour.
The meal was delicious too.... read more What a bargain compared to other companies.
I would never thought i would write review as most time i never was impressed. Wonders Travel and Tourism changed my mind. i was amazed their professionalism, quick response (Yaseen... read more is amazing) they will customize every caprize you ask for in private tour.
We travelled with my husband late January 2022, and had a wonderful guide Mahmud, driver name Anas - very professional.
We visited the old & new city Amman, then Dead sea, Jarash, Petra and Wadi Rum. Mahmud provided great details into the history of the areas and took care of us. when we booked the tour, we wanted to make a special trip - traveling to Joran was definitely a trip of a lifetime! Thank you so much for the hospitality. I highly recommend Wonders Travel and Tourism! Thanks!
We did a day tour of Petra with Mohammad from celebrity concellation. He was extremely knowledgeable and answered all our questions about Petra and Jordan in general.
We appreciated... read more that he gave us some time at the major sites to explore on our own if we wished.
Prior to the tour, I made all the arrangements through Yasin. He was very helpful and provided quick responses.
We highly recommend Wonders Travel and Tourism for your trip to Petra and Wadi Rum .
Contacted Mr. Yaseen 3 months before arrival, he replied to all my questions quickly so we booked our excursion with Wonders TT.
Our ship "NAUTICA" docked half an hour earlier,... read more luckly our guide was waiting for us at the pier in front of the cruise.
We went to Petra and the Wadi. Everything went smoothly and ontime! Long day but very enjoyable. Guide Mohammad was flexible as to lunch and personal variances. Joked down to Petra. Walk fairly easy.
So the guide was excellent and the vehicle too, the lunch very tasty and evething ontime. They earn 5 ! Would highly recommend the tour.
Mohammad brings a sense of history to every tour while showing you things you've run right by countless times without stopping to look (up, down, over, around). Touring with Mohammad... read more is like spending time with the greatest ambassador for Jordan and your newest, most favorite friend )) Highly appreciate and recommend !
Wonders Travel and Tourism had came with a fantastic itinerary and magical experience for us. Varvara created the amazing program. Muhammad must be the best tour guide in Jordan, he... read more was born in Petra - Wadi Musa (no matter how much you study Petra, he will give you more information), We spent 8 days, which definitely was not enough seeing this amazing country with him. With a fantastic plan added special features along the way making it truly one of our best vacations ever. Of course the driver was excellent and patient with all of our wanderings and pictures. Our guide was s fluent in English and taught us a bunch of Arabic ))
Thank you Wonders Travel and Tourism for making our first trip to Jordan so memorable! We will be back for a longer stay soon! I definitely recommend them!
We always wanted to visit Jordan and it was difficult choice to pick the right operator. A travel agency in my town recommended Wonders Travel and Tourism, we couldn't be... read more happier with that choice. Wonders are very profficinals, always on time and the girls in office are very friendly, but the best part of the trip was when i met our guide Mohammad - he is our friend now ))
Muhammad was extremely efficient, professional and always trying to make us happy...
We Highly recommend Wonders Travel and Tourism.
This is one of the modern wonders of the world. It is a must visit attraction in Jordan.I went on a daytrip to Petra and I wish I had more... read more time to spend there. You can not see even 10% of it all in one day. I've been reading and studing a lot about Petra , but with our guide “Mohammad” you'll deffenetly learn more, as his family - use to live there .
Petra was really out of this world. It was unbelievable. No words can describe the amazing accomplishments of the Nabateans. You need a lot of time though to explore.
The pick up went smooth, it took 2 and half hours to get there, but listing to our guide will shorten time much, after 2 hours with the guide we another 2,5 hours free time, after that we met other participants at the restaurant and had lunch, which exeeded our excpectations.
What an amazing trip! highly recommend.
I've recently had a stay arranged in Jordan/Aqaba by Wonders Travel and I can strongly recommend this tour operator. Everything went smoothly and according to my wishes & expectations. Next... read more time they'll definitely be my choice again. Thumbs up!
We had an amazing day. Our booking procedure was very easy, just email and full payment in US Dollars on Arrival. All our questions were answered promptly and courtesly.... read more We found our Tour representative immediately we disembarked our ship. He was very friendly and well organised and we were then taken to our driver for the day. Our driver was very helpful and spoke very good english. He made sure we were happy with the time frame to do what we wanted.
Our lunch provided in Petra was very very good, with great variety. Our guide for Petra was very well informed and we enjoyed the newly opened museum at Petra.
Wadi Rum by Jeep was also very interesting scenery and quite exhilerating.
One of the best tours we have ever done and Wonders Travel and Tourism so very easy to deal with. Highly recommended.
I really liked the team of Wonder tours, they tell me everything about their programs, I'd chosen Wadi Rum and Petra, and honestly I felt so many unforgettable emotions... read more and feelings, amazing views, interesting programs, excellent guide. I want to say a huge Thank you guys! I'm going to come back to Jordan because I had no time to see the other places, and of course I will use service of Wonder Tours Really recommend
We arranged this tour with Mr. Yaseen M. and he responded very promptly,
We booked a full day tour from Aqaba to Petra. Pick up at 8.00 AM from the... read more port, and returned on time at 5.00PM.
Very comfortable Coaster with 12 persons with an English speaking tour guide and a driver.
This Petra trip was very well organized from beginning to end, including the entrance fees and delicious Buffet Lunch.
Petra was an amazing place to visit, very magical, was one of the highlight of our 21 days cruise.
Very enjoyable and Highly Recommended Tour. Thank you!!
I purchased Petra tour and the 3in1 tour from this agency in Tala bay. First of all, the agency is located in the resort, which is extremely big advantage to... read more visit and be informed deeply about tours. they have another office in the center of Aqaba. What's more, the staff who introduced the tours for me were pretty kind, they feel me so comfortable.
By the way, the prices are also really reasonable according to other agencies in Aqaba.
In a nutshell, good quality tours, reasonable prices and caring staff... When you come to Aqaba, you should definitely have a look this agency! I recommend .