Mick the Ram
9 months ago

Mick the Ram
9 months ago

Three dead after tour boat inferno in the Red Sea Egypt

Three British tourists have died after their dive boat in the Egyptian Red Sea caught fire.

Tour operator, Scuba Travel, said 26 other people, including 12 other UK nationals, were rescued from the vessel called Hurricane, and that the blaze started at around 06:30 local time on Sunday 11 June, after an electrical fault.

It is understood that the three who perished were qualified diving enthusiasts, but had opted not to take part in a particular early-morning dive and as a consequence were not with the rest of the party who were gathered together for a briefing.

Those rescued from the boat were brought on shore to the village of Marsa Shagra, seemingly unharmed but naturally very shocked. Footage on social media showed a floating inferno with the boat’s stern ravaged with flames, producing plumes of black smoke, while it was off the Elphinstone Reef.

The boat left Port Ghalib in the eastern city of Marsa Alam on 6 June for a 7-day trip.

Immediate evacuation 

A statement issued by Scuba Travel said: “It is with great regret that we, as tour operator, with heavy hearts, must accept that three of our much-valued dive guests perished in this tragic incident. Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to their families and friends at this very sad time.”

It went on to say that the other 12 divers who were present at the briefing were immediately evacuated to another boat nearby. These were followed by the 14 crew members, including the captain and two dive guides, after attempts to reach the missing guests were unsuccessful.

Full investigation to come

Scuba Travel said it had been working with the boat’s operator, Tornado Marine, since 2001 and added that the rescued tourists were likely to return to the UK in the coming week.

They also confirmed that local authorities would conduct a full investigation into the fire. The boat is likely to be towed back to shore in the coming days.

Witness watches on in shock

Witness Ahmed Maher, a diving manager at Marsa Shagra village, said: “We saw smoke from the boat, it was around 9km from the beach; a nearby boat rescued them and dropped them off.”

Previous issues reported

Shockingly a diving enthusiast, who did not give his name, said he was on the same boat only last month and was not surprised by the incident as it was plagued with problems when he was aboard.

“The toilets and the showers weren’t working properly and there were issues below the decks. They were pumping something out but it was coming up my toilet.” He added that the crew worked very hard for little reward and felt that the boat has seen better days.

Popular dive destination

Egypt’s Red Sea resorts are immensely popular with European holidaymakers, especially the British. It is renowned for its dive destination with easy access to coral reefs offering a fabulous diversity of marine life.

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