A traditional Kuwaiti sailing vessel used for travel from Kuwait to India and East Africa as well as Aden and Basra has been retrieved from Kuwait Bay.
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Professional Kuwaiti divers, aided by volunteers and advocates of environment protection were involved in the operation to lift the 25-metre-long, sunken wooden ship from the waters.
The team used air bags and water pumps to float the ship and tow it to the coast for maintenance works and to ensure safety in Kuwait Bay, Waleed Al Fadhel, the chief of the diving team, told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).
“The ship was considered as a threat due to the scattering of some of its parts in the sea at the high tide. They had to be removed in order to ensure the safety of the sea-goers. The marine environment was at risk.”
The Kuwaiti Dive Team strives to protect the marine environment and to help sea-goers to recover their sunken or lost ships and boats, Al Fadhel said.
“The team also contributes actively to spreading the culture of volunteering and fruitful community participation.”
The retrieved ship was built in Kuwait with traditional methods and is known as “Baghlah”, Arabic for mule. The large traditional deep-sea dhow is similar to Portuguese ships used in 17th century.
Baghlahs were widely used as merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and the seas around the Arabian Peninsula.
They reached eastward to Sindh, India and up to the Bay of Bengal and further beyond as far as the Spice Islands. Southwestward they reached down to the East African coast.
However, the ship was somewhat unwieldy and was replaced by the easier to manoeuvre “Boom”, a medium-sized deep-sea dhow.
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