Shadwan Island is the largest reef island in the Strait of Jubal, also known as Shaker Island. At the same time, it is a barren rocky island. The current around Shadwan is usually moderate, moving from south to north. Also, an impressive vertical reef wall exists in the island’s north that goes deeper than 40 metres. Therefore, scuba divers go downstream to explore the wall on drift dives. Moreover, the reef abounds with coral and finfish. There is a featured lighthouse to guide ships on this island.
Location of Shadwan Island
In general, Red Sea islands exist at a distance of 35 kilometres from the shores of Hurghada. In particular, Shadwan Island lies near the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea, 35 km from Hurghada and 325 km from Suez. At the same time, it is 30 miles southwest of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula and 20 miles northeast of el Gouna.
Geography of Shadwan Island
Shadwan Island has the most extensive reef island in the Strait of Jubal, Shaker Island. It is an isolated rocky island whose area exceeds 70 km. In the northern part of the island, there is a massive vertical reef wall at a depth of more than 40 meters.
Shedwan is among the famous diving areas. The current is usually moderate and goes from south to north. Divers go with the current to explore the wall through drift diving—the coral reefs surrounding the island attack these divers. Also, many types of fish live in the area, including coral, fan fish and hawksbill turtles. Besides, swarms and beautiful dolphins take shelter in the place.
Abu Al-Nahhas is a coral reef area that takes a triangle shape at the northwest of Shadwan Island. It is one of the most dangerous marine areas for yachts and boats. In the past, seven ships sank around this place. The reefs there pose a threat to the safety of navigation because they exist on the lanes of vessels.
The Abu al-Nahhas area includes the wrecks of the SS Carnatic, which sank in 1896, the Kimon M, which dropped in 1978, Chrysola K that fell in 1981, and Guianes de “sank in 1983.” Four of those shipwrecks rest on the seabed at more than 30 meters deep. The coral reefs characterise Shadwan Island so much. Shadwan Island is the largest Shaaban atoll in the region of Jubal Strait.
Earthquake Effect on Shadwan
On 31 March 1969, the island witnessed an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the surface wave magnitude scale. The quake caused some damage, including numerous rockfalls. Also, on 9 April 1996, a station of the Hurghada Seismological Network began operating on the island. The main goal of this station is to gain information on the seismotectonic of the southern Gulf of the f Suez region. Solar batteries run the station, and the telemetry transmits the seismic data to the Hurghada Seismological Center.
Diving near Shadwan Island
Shadwan Island is also the largest reef island in the Strait of Gobal, Shaker Island. In the northern part of the island, you will find a massive semi-vertical reef wall at a depth of more than 40 meters.
The current is usually moderate; its direction is from south to north. Therefore, divers go downstream to explore the cliff with drift snorkels. The reefs abound with coral and finfish, but a more extensive and more exciting selection is available for visitors regularly frequent the site. Divers often meet with whitefin reef sharks and reef sharks, the grey fin and hawksbill turtles, but most of all, the beautiful shoals of dolphins.
Tourist Activities Near Shadwan
Shadwan Island is famous for coral reefs. Many tourists visit it annually to enjoy the scenic view and practice diving and fishing. For the sake of marine beauty, trips head from Hurghada and Safaga to this island. But, the Egyptian government does not allow landing on this island or doing tourists activities on its territories.
Tourists can also practise diving, especially in the northern part of the island, where a wall of picturesque natural coral extends in that part, reaching more than forty meters. There are also coral fish, fan fish, whitefin reef shark, grey fin reef shark, hawksbill slavs, and beautiful dolphins. Thus, it is possible to practise fishing, free diving and snorkelling with equipment on this island.
Shadwan Island is one of the most expensive offshore islands for the people of the Red Sea and all of Egypt. In partnership with the fishermen of the Red Sea, the heroes of the armed forces confronted the Israeli aggression on it in 1970. We call it the Battle of Shadwan, and since that time, it became on January 22, The National Day of Red Sea Governorate.
National Day of the Red Sea Governorate
Shadwan Island witnessed a famous epic during the war of attrition. The people of the governorate participated with their armed forces in defeating the brutal aggression on the island. This participation was through supplying and assisting the armed forces with all means and maritime media on January 22, 1970. Therefore, the government considered this day a national holiday for the Red Sea Governorate.
Friday, January 22, meets the anniversary of the participation of the sons of Hurghada from the fishermen of the armed forces in repelling the Israeli aggression of Shadwan Island, January 1970. The date of the annual celebration of the National Day of the Red Sea Governorate.
The Red Sea Governorate has taken the day of the battle to be its national holiday. It celebrates this day annually, opens several service projects, and honours the participants in the struggle or the families of the martyrs.
Battle of Shadwan
The island witnessed a famous epic. The people of the Red Sea Governorate shared with the soldiers of the armed forces to withstand the occupation forces. And historic information about the Battle of Shadwan indicates that the Israeli enemy forces launched a massive attack on the island by air and sea. They also attacked the homes of civilians who run the lighthouse. A small Egyptian sea and land thunderbolt guard the lighthouse, located south of the island. Despite the interception of Israeli planes by air and their “launch” by sea, the governorate’s people did not abandon their forces and delivered ammunition, supplies and weapons on fishing boats from Hurghada Beach to Shadwan Island.
The battle of Shadwan began from January 22, 1970, until January 26. This battle took place on Shadwan Island at the entrance to the Gulf of Suez, 35 km from Hurghada, when the Israeli aggression tried to occupy Shadwan Island to respond to the successful and painful strikes of the Egyptian armed forces during the war Attrition.
Accordingly, the army gave orders to the Thunderbolt men to prevent the enemy from occupying the island. The battle began with an aerial bombardment on the island for more than two hours. Next, on January 23, 1970, the air force attacked the enemy on the island and forced it to withdraw. This year is a national holiday for the Red Sea Governorate. Besides, Shadwan became the most valuable marine island for the people of the Red Sea.
The Egyptian Thunderbolt members fought the Israeli Parachute Battalion bravely and caused heavy losses to the enemy forces. The Egyptian air defence units were able to shoot down two enemy planes, Mirage and Skyhawk, and the enemy kept advancing to storm the guard force positions in the south of the island. And they were asking the Egyptian force to surrender. And despite the violent aerial bombardment, the Egyptian troops refused to surrender and fought valiantly and bravely. Then, the enemy continued its attempts to control the island and prevent the supply to the Egyptian soldiers through the sea. Still, they failed despite their numerical superiority, violent aerial bombardment, and many stores.
On the day after the fighting, corresponding to Friday, January 23, the Egyptian Air Force bombed the sites that the enemy was able to reach on Shadwan Island, while our naval forces carried out work to strengthen the Egyptian influence on the island, which led to the withdrawal of the Israeli troops from the island.
The history of Shadwan Island marks Shadwan. The essential characteristic of the island’s history is the Battle of Shadwan. This battle took place in January 1970 AD, where the battle took place between the Israeli enemy and the people of the island who resisted the attack. In January 1970 AD, the heavy losses that hit the Israeli were significant reasons for its withdrawal from Shadwan Island.
During the War of Attrition between Israel and Egypt, Egyptian troops fortified and held the island. On 22 January 1970, it was the site of Operation Rhodes, a heliborne assault by Israeli troops which occupied the island for 36 hours. 70 Egyptian and 3 Israeli soldiers died during the battle.