Seeing an Oceanic Whitetip shark, also known as Carcharhinus longimanus, is on the wish list of many divers and those who choose to go scuba diving with Euro-Divers in Egypt’s Southern Red Sea have the chance to realising their dream at Elphinstone Reef.
These awe-inspiring sharks are easy to distinguish from the reef whitetip by their more substantial bodies, the pilot fish that continually accompany them and their rounded fins edged with white. They can reach 3.5 metres in length but individuals this large are rare.
They roam the tropical and sub-tropical seas and often spend time at shallow depths hence being regularly sighted by divers at Elphinstone Reef. Classified as dangerous to humans, sightings of these majestic creatures get the adrenalin pumping!
Oceanic white-tip sharks used to be the most common pelagic fish in the sea but are now threatened with extinction due mainly to fishing. In some areas They are deliberately targeted in some areas for meat and fins, it is also often caught as bycatch.
Scientists estimate that the population of oceanic whitetips has declined by over 98% since the 1960’s so encounters with them whilst diving is a huge privilege not enjoyed by many.
Elphinstone Reef is one of the world’s most exciting diving destinations. A few small waves breaking are the only visible sign that just below the sea’s surface is the summit of a subterranean mountain, rich in colourful corals and fish species, and attracting hungry barracuda, dolphins and sharks.
Aside from the oceanic whitetips, divers who visit this reef are also on the lookout for hammerhead sharks, also an endangered species.
Encounters with sharks at Elphinstone are unforgettable but not for the feint hearted. The sharks themselves pose little risk, they are curious but do not actively seek out human prey, the location of the reef in open sea with alluring deep coral plateaus and infamous currents means this dive is best suited to experienced divers.
If a dive at Elphinstone with the possibility of an encounter of a life-time appeals to you, contact the Euro-Divers Egypt team to get your adventure started.