The coastal zone of the Red Sea is an ecologically unique marine system of outstanding regional environmental and economic importance. A tropical coral reef begins at the IUI station beach and a deep oceanic water body can be reached from the Institute's 50-meter pier within 10 minutes sailing.
The IUI has strong expertise in coral reef biology, phytoplankton ecology, biogeochemistry and microbiology, and the IUI diving facility provides in-house access to the reef and surrounding sea to carry out observations, monitoring and research.
The diving facility supports both scuba and technical diving and is recognised by the Israeli Diving Authority and operates under Israeli diving law and regulations of the International Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS). It is managed by a Diving Officer with the rank of Senior Instructor, who is responsible for diving safety.
Photo credit: Maoz Fine
The facility is fully stocked and all items of diving equipment can be borrowed for regular air, nitrox and trimix dives, regular dives, technical dives, standard regulators and re-breathers. There is a high-pressure compressor and O2/He gas blending system available, 24 scuba sets, 5 sets of open circuit technical diving equipment, 4 re-breathers and 2 sets for underwater speech communication with full masks. In addition, there are underwater scooters.
Diving is normally limited to a maximum depth of 12 meters, but deeper diving is possible for individuals who are rated as instructors, dive-masters and who possess the needed qualifications. Dives deeper than 30 meters can be carried out using technical diving methods including Trimix but only by divers who are certified as tech/trimix divers.
Photo credit: Yoav Linderman
The dive staff carry out check dives of divers and the facility offers courses on basic and advanced technical diving, 3Mix diving, rebreathers diving and Nitrox diving.
Mobility of divers
There are two speedboats available, capable of taking up to 10 divers. The boats are used to reach remote dive sites and for scientific work such as towing plankton nets, experiments with underwater tools and more.
In addition, divers can make use of the IUI's 16 meter-long research ship, capable of carrying 12 people throughout the region. The ship has a laboratory for preliminary analyses.
Photo credit: Orr Ben-Tzvi