The Blue Hole is a diving location on the southeast Sinai, a few kilometres north of Dahab,Egypt on the coast of the Red Sea.

The Blue Hole is a submarine sinkhole, with a maximum depth within the hole of just over 100 m (328 feet). There is a shallow opening to the sea around 6 m (20 feet) deep, known as “the saddle”, and a 26 m (85 feet) long tunnel, known as “the Arch”, whose ceiling is at a depth of 55 m (181 feet) and whose bottom falls away as it reaches the seaward side to about 120 m (394 feet) On the seaward side the floor drops steeply to over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). The hole and the surrounding area have an abundance of coral and reef fish. The Blue Hole is popular for freediving because of the depth directly accessible from shore and the lack of current.

The dive site is famous for having the most diver fatalities in the world. With estimates of between 130 and 200 fatalities in recent years. The reasons for why this site has such a high number of fatalities are not clearly understood.

Blue Hole


Diving history

It was historically avoided by Bedouin tribes people who inhabited the area.

Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula from the Six Day War of 1967 until it was for Egypt by Israel under the Egypt Israel peace treaty in 1979. During the Israeli occupation, the Blue Hole developed a significant international reputation as a dive site. In 1968 a group of Israeli divers led by Alex Shell were the first to dive the hole with modern scuba diving equipment. During the dive, they noticed the underwater arch.

Since 1982 it has become very busy and is dived almost every day by recreational divers. Local dive centres take appropriately qualified divers to 30 m at the El Bells or Bells to Blue Hole sites. The Bells entry is from the shore further along from the site. At 26 m at the bottom of the Bells is a mini arch that should not be confused with the arch in the site itself. The dive is then a wall dive that finishes by crossing the Blue Hole saddle. Recreational divers do not get to see the Blue Hole arch when doing the Bells to Blue Hole dive.



Memorial plaques for divers killed in the hole, left by families and friends at the site.

The Blue Hole itself is no more dangerous than any other Red Sea dive site but diving through the Arch.  A submerged tunnel, which lies within the site, is an extreme dive that has resulted in many accidents and fatalities. The number of Blue Hole fatalities is not accurately recorde. One source estimates 130 divers died during the fifteen-year period from 1997 to 2012. Averaging over eight per year, another claims as many as 200. This includes some snorkelling deaths at the surface unrelated to diving the Arch. The Egyptian Chamber For Diving & Watersports (CDWS) now stations a policeman at the cite to ensure divers are diving with a certified guide who will make sure safety procedures are followed.