Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Mystery of the Red Sea Wreck The Khanka


Divers aim to discover more about the mysterious Red Sea wreck locally known as the Khanka.

Little is known about this ship since it was a Russian spy ship that sank in waters far from home. A modified 861-class survey buoy tender, the Khanka was equipped with signals intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic intelligence (ELINT) equipment of its time.

The Khanka and a host of other ships like her sailed the seven seas at the height of the Cold War, listening and collecting vast amounts of signals and electronic intelligence. What makes the Khanka more unique is that while the wreck is physically present, no official record of its existence can be found. This raises even more questions as to why this was the case compared to other Cold War spy vessels.

Very little is known about how the ship sank or what it was doing. However, the vessel lies in shallow waters at a depth of 24m/~78ft, making it ideal for exploration by recreational divers. The wreck is located on the Western bay of Zabargad Island in the southern Red Sea.

The ship remains relatively upright in the waters, making it an ideal wreck dive. Curious divers can explore the engine room, pilot house, and more.

You can find out more at

Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for