The “Tienstin”, as it is commonly called, is the phonetic pronunciation of the ship’s actual Chinese name of Tien Hsing. Built at Ta Chung Hua Shipbuilding & Engineering Works, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China in 1935, she was a steam powered tugboat of approximately 300 tons and 35 meters in length.
What little information that is available concerning the Tien Hsing indicates that she was on passage from Suez to Massawa, Eritrea, when she ran aground and sank at Abu Galawa Kibeer on 26 October 1943.
The Tien Hsing lies in 18 meters of water at the base of the reef’s southern face on the western end of the reef. Lying relatively parallel to the reef, with her part of her bow buried deeply in it, the wreck is listing over to starboard at approximately 40-45 degrees. Her bow just breaks the surface of the water at low tide and her rudder and propeller are partially buried in the sandy seabed at 17-18 meters. All of the wooden parts of the boat are long gone, leaving behind the steel superstructure which is new encrusted by hard and soft corals, especially on the port (upper) side. The keel is still intact and it is possible to swim under the ship between the reef and the keel. Penetration of the wreck is gained through two doors located on the starboard side which allow access to the pilothouse and the engine room where the engine and boilers are still in place. Another penetration point is located on the aft starboard side of the wreck which leads into a small head (bathroom) where the toilet is still in place. This is a nice easy wreck dive and makes an excellent night dive as well.