Scuttled in the late 90s, the M42 Duster,” a 40 mm self-propelled Anti-Aircraft gun nicknamed “The Tank,” has become a hotspot for marine life and corals as well as a popular “must-do” photo stop at the start or end of many dive routes in the area.

Known as ‘The Tank’, M42 40 mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft
Gun, or “Duster,” is an American armored light air-defence gun.
Initially, it served the Royal Jordanian Army before being scuttled
as an artificial reef in September 1999 by the Royal Marine
Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS). It has since accumulated
a lot of marine life, including exotic invertebrate species, in the
shallows surrounding the wreck. Over the years, soft corals and
sponges took hold of the tank, and swirling schools of colorful
Reef fish now call it home. After moving in for a closer look, we
can see what has attracted marine life.

The wreck has plenty of little nooks and crannies, housing dozens of
of species of invertebrates, including shrimps, crabs, starfish and
more. Lionfish frequent the tank to pray around the hull while
damsels fend them off with bravado. Divers keen on macro can
spot colorful blennies watching the show from their homes in the
coral and cracks of the tracked war machine. “The Tank,” located
between several diving sites, is the usual place for safety stops and
the perfect spot to make a fish-packed, photo-of-a-lifetime safety
stop. Furthermore, it is the easiest and most convenient dive
site in Aqaba for snorkeling and free diving.

The best option for divers and snorkelers.

It’s not every day you get to see an old American anti-aircraft
gun sunken on a sandy seabed! Although only a mere five meters
below sea level, “The Tank” appeals to divers and snorkelers due
to its rarity. The nearby Seven Sisters and Fairy Ring reefs with
their pinnacles are one of the best examples of rare, rich in marine
life dive sites with exciting topography, in a relatively small area.
Close to the shore in shallow, bright water, divers can enjoy the
sight of blennies, damsels, butterflies, schools of fusiliers and even
a barracuda. Fish life here is plentiful, as the pinnacles make a great
nursery, and the corals and sponges are crawling with life.

What’s behind its Nickname?

Divers will find this dive perfectly relaxing, whether in training or
taking a colorful break from more challenging dive sites. The M42
“Duster”, nicknamed “The Tank”, is just a few fin kicks away and
the perfect spot to make a fish-packed, photo-of-a-lifetime safety
stop. Also, for those returning from a nearby wreck of Hercules
C-130 or a technical dive at the deep wreck of Al Shorouk, it
provides safe and comfortable conditions for the safety stop.
The Tank and Seven Sisters dive sites are accessible by boat as well
as from the shore. The site is particularly recommended for
beginners who are ready to take that first step and kickstart their
underwater adventure.