The AL Kahfain began life as the 4,479 GRT Roll On/Roll Off PAX-ferry Ulster Queen built at Cammel Laird Shipbuilders Ltd., Birkenhead, UK (Yard No. 1323) for the Belfast Steamship Co (Coast Lines). She was launched on 01 December 1966 and completed in June the following year with a length of 115 meters, beam of 16.5 meters, and draught of 4.13 meters.
The AL Kahfain’s final voyage came on 01 November 2005 (One source states 22 November as the date of sinking) as the ship was departing Hurghada enroute to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The ship was not carrying any Jeddah-bound passengers so there were only crew onboard. The ship had just cleared Shedwan Island when an explosion in the engine room started a fire which spread rapidly up to the superstructure. The order to abandon ship was given and the crew were rescued by passing vessels. One life reported lost, with 58 survivors.
An attempt to take the ship in tow and return to port was attempted but the ship capsized while in tow and drifted to the south where she sank at Sha’ab Sheer in approximately 25 meters of water, coming to rest on the bottom on her starboard side.
Learn more about the Al Kahfain and current diving information at: http://dive.im/AlKahfain