The Blue Hole is an incredibly popular Red Sea dive site located on the southeastern side of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, just a short distance from the small town of Dahab. There are numerous truly spectacular dive sites in the area that attract thousands upon thousands of divers each year.
So, with so many amazing dive sites in the area, what makes the Blue Hole one of the top Sinai tourist attractions for diving enthusiasts?
- Like virtually all the popular dive sites in the area, the Blue Hole site is easily accessed from the shore.
- It is also the only submarine sinkhole in the area, which in itself makes it appealing to adventure-seeking divers.
While SCUBA divers account for most of people visiting the Blue Hole, it also attracts an endless number snorkelers and free divers.
There is also something else which sets the Blue Hole apart from other dive sites in the area.
While the Blue Hole is a place of spectacular beauty, it also has the distinctive reputation of being the most dangerous dive site in the world. For those who fail to respect Mother Nature, and for those who fail to act responsibly, a dive in the Blue Hole can be fatal.
Why Is the Blue Hole the Most Dangerous Dive Site In the World?
Like other Red Sea dive sites, the Blue Hole at Dahab has an abundance of coral and reef fish of almost every description. However, as is the case with almost all Blue Holes, the deeper you go, the less there is to see in terms of marine life.
In short, the deeper you go the more unfavorable the water conditions become for supporting marine life.
Unfortunately, many who dive at the Blue Hole are not happy to just admire the site’s natural splendor. Instead, they get tempted into diving deeper than they should, more often than not in search of the Arch.
It is believed that at least 130 to 200 divers have lost their lives at the Blue Hole in recent years. All of those deaths were unnecessary and could have been prevented if the victims had dived responsibly.
Today, a number of additional safety precautions have been put in place by the Egyptian authorities in order to reduce the number of accidents at the Blue Hole.
For example, anyone wishing to SCUBA dive at the site can only do so in the company of a certified diver guide. There is also a policeman on site to enforce this law.
Any diver who wants to visit the Blue Hole’s famous Arch, which happens to be at a depth of around 52 meters will now need to be in possession of the correct certification, including a mixed-gas qualification obtained from a licensed Technical Diving Agency.
The Blue Hole and its Elusive Arch
The Arch at the Blue Hole is essentially a tunnel that links the Hole’s interior to the open water on the other side. The top of the archway is at a depth of around 52m, while the bottom of the Arch falls away to a depth of around 120m as you near the open water side of it.
Once you pass through the Arch into open water, the depth increases significantly to about 1000m.
Very few recreational divers are certified to dive deep enough to reach the Arch’s entrance, but for many, the temptation has been too great to resist.
At this depth, nitrogen narcosis can be significant, which of course puts a diver’s life in grave danger.
A number of other factors also add to the danger. For instance, the Arch is notoriously difficult to locate, and this had caused some divers to descend even deeper, believing that they had not yet reached the Arch.
Additionally, the clarity of the water and the angle of the Arch cause a sort of optical illusion that causes people to underestimate the distance through the Arch to the open sea. Many who have seen the Arch have reported that the distance to the open water appears to be around 10m, but in reality the distance is about 26m.
The Blue Hole at Dahab is no more dangerous than any other dive site in the world, providing you don’t go in search of the Arch.
Instead, enjoy the Blue Hole the way it is meant to be enjoyed, by admiring its spectacular natural beauty in the company of a certified diver guide.
Visiting the Blue Hole in Dahab
While you might not see the Blue Hole mentioned in many of our Egypt tour packages, we certainly do believe that it is a fantastic dive site with so much to offer.
However, we take the safety and wellbeing of our clients very seriously, and for this reason, we recommend, in the strongest of terms, that visitors to the Blue Hole should always follow the instructions issued by their diver guides.
Diving down to, and swimming through the Arch at the Blue Hole requires special equipment and qualifications which most recreational divers do not possess.
Remember, your diver guide or instructor is there to ensure your safety, and to ensure you leave the area with fond memories that will no doubt last a lifetime.