Underwater wrecks are mysterious and exciting because of their history and marine biodiversity. Inchcape 10 is one of the interesting wreck dive sites in the Middle East that you can explore. She was an offshore supply ship built in 1981 with a gross tonnage of 109 and was initially owned by a company in Bahrain under the name “Mariam”. The vessel was bought by Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) and renamed “Jetwise” in 1998. She then was moved to Fujairah where she was tasked to carry crew and supplies to and from ships and oil rigs for more or less five years.
The vessel was decommissioned and purposely sunk on June 28, 2003, by ISS in order to form an artificial reef for fish and other marine life with the special permission from Fujairah authorities and HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed AI Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah and member of the Supreme Council. ISS invested time and money to ensure that Inchcape 10 was safe, environmentally friendly, and free from harmful chemicals before submerging it for its new underwater life.
Inchcape 10 is the 3rd ship that was sunk in Fujairah and the largest among the three sister Inchcape vessels. She lies at approximately 23 meters deep and sits upright, with the bow facing north.
As you dive towards the wreck, you’ll see a range of complex structures upholstered with coral growth which provide habitat opportunities for different species. The surface areas of the wreck are blanketed by a layer of dark red and brown algae and some small calcerated worms.
Marine life of Inchcape 10
The ship’s structural support and platforms serve as reef habitat for different kinds of fish like the schooling Caesio yellowtail fusiliers which are often spotted cruising through the encrusted wreck to feed on zooplankton. They have bluish bodies, bright yellow tail fin, and black spot on the base of their pectoral fins. Their deeply forked tail fins and streamlined bodies help these active swimmers swoosh back and forth in the deep waters. A remarkable trait of these reef fish is their ability to change in color from blue to red with the passage of day and night.
You may also encounter schooling bannerfish, also referred to as false Moorish idol because of their similarities. These zooplankton eaters have laterally compressed bodies with black and white diagonal bands plus yellow caudal fins and pectoral fins. Their dorsal fin that stretches in a long white filament makes them stand out as they swim along the wreck.
Shoal of silvery jacks can be a fascinating sight as they swim in unison in a sea of blob. These curious species have been found to circle around divers so don’t be alarmed if that happens to you.
Filefish, also known as the leatherjackets, may also be found in this repurposed vessel. Closely resembling triggers and puffers, the filefish like to feed on crustaceans that live in the sunken ship. These species have rhomboid-shaped bodies, fleshy fins, and sandpaper-like skin that come in an array of vivid colors like red, yellow, orange, grey, white, and black.
Other species like lionfish, angelfish, snappers, hammour, and pufferfish also roam the interior and exterior of the wreck. Juvenile barracuda and stingrays also find refuge in this artificial reef.
Moray eels live in the crevices and cracks of the wreck during the day and venture out at night to hunt for a variety of food such as fish, crab, squid, cuttlefish, and octopus. Juvenile snakes may also be seen gliding in the area in search of something to eat.
Requirements when visiting this artificial reef
Inchcape 10 is a successful reef conservation project as evident from its impressive range of marine life settlement and if you want to see the thriving ecosystem, we recommended that you get at least an Advanced Open Water certification or higher. Each wreck dive always holds a new and interesting discovery which makes it worth exploring multiple times.