This is a large and intact wreck in clear shallow water not far from the coast in The Red Sea, at Safaga, south of Hurghada in Egypt. As a dive site, it's an excellent wreck, although not surrounded by that many fish. But the story that surrounds its sinking, and those who lost their lives in the disaster, make it more special for some divers.
Salem Express is one of the most-famous scuba diving wrecks in the world, and certainly in The Red Sea. The main reason it's so famous is the tragic circumstances in which nearly 500 innocent men, women and children lost their lives. The wreck is very large, almost completely intact, can be penetrated in places, and is well within reach of recreational scuba divers. Although not a great deal of marine life has made Salem Express home in the past 30 years, it's still large and interesting enough to dive twice on the same day. Its location makes it a popular day trip dive from Safaga, and it's on many Red Sea liveaboard diving itineraries from a number of ports, including Hurghada and Ghalib.
Sea & weather conditions enable you to dive all year round at Salem Express, but the warmer months are July & August. The coldest period is in February. Therefore, the dive site is more crowded in the months when conditions are warmer.
Salem Express is a large wreck that lies in shallow water not far from Egypt's Red Sea coast at Safaga.
The location of Salem Express Wreck is just five kilometres from the coast. There is nothing of interest at nearest point of the mainland, that is 16 kilometres south of Safaga. From Safaga to the dive site is 20 kilometres travelling south east. The distance between Hurghada and Salem Express is 70 kilometres.
You can access Salem Express by day trip boat from Safaga, but the best diving experiences are enjoyed on a Red Sea liveaboard diving safari from Hurghada, Port Ghalib or Marsa Alam.
Because the wreck's shallowest areas are at just 12 metres below the surface, any level of certified diver can explore much of it. Its deepest points are at 30 metres, meaning that the whole wreck is within the limits of recreational scuba divers. But in reality, most dive groups here require divers to be certified to 30 metres, such as Advanced / CMAS2 or at least Open Water with Adventure Deep dive certification.
It's possible to see all kinds of interesting marine life at Salem Express. But divers do not come here for the marine life, and to be honest, there are not many fish at the wreck considering its size and how long it's been here. The larger and more-exciting pelagic species do not show up very often, but anything is possible. In general, most of the fish here are smaller species, such as Lionfish, Snapper etc. Barracuda and Trevally can sometimes be seen hunting on the outer edges of the wreck.
Salem Express is one of the most-famous diving wrecks in the world. Some divers choose not to dive here, out of respect or fear for the nearly five hundred people who lost their lives here. After 30 years on the sea bed the wreck is still intact, and attracting some coral growth. It's a very large wreck, and covers depths of more than twenty metres. Therefore, it's not possible to cover all in one dive, so you need at least two dives here to properly explore.