Three Brit divers dead in horror Egypt boat fire 'after deciding not to take part in scuba trip and missing evacuation' | The Sun

Three Brit divers dead in horror Egypt boat fire 'after deciding not to take part in scuba trip and missing evacuation' | The Sun

June 12, 2023

THREE Brit divers are confirmed dead in a horror boat fire off Egypt after they missed an evacuation when they reportedly decided not to take part in a scuba trip that morning.

The deaths follow a mass recue operation by Egyptian emergency services as the disastrous blaze raged in the Red Sea on Sunday.

Scuba Travel, which ran the diving tour the Brits were on, confirmed the three Brits were dead.

The company's statement read: "It is with great regret that we, as Tour Operator, with heavy hearts, must accept that three of our much-valued dive guests, who had not participated in the dive briefing, early on the morning of June 11, perished in the tragic incident.

"Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to their families and friends at this very sad time."

Scuba Travel said the three passengers, who are yet to be named, were qualified divers.


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The statement continued: "At the time the fire broke out, 12 divers were participating in a briefing on board, while those missing had apparently decided not to dive that morning.

"The severity of the fire meant that the 12 divers were immediately evacuated by rib to another craft nearby and the 14 crew members, including the captain and two dive guides, having tried to reach the missing guests, also had to abandon ship and were rescued by rib."

The Sun Online has reached the Foreign Office for comment.

Terrifying footage from the incident was filmed by a nearby vessel as onlookers watched the cruiser's stern engulfed by flames as black smoke spewed out.

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A rescue crew was then seen motoring over in a dinghy as the last remaining passengers jumped for safety.

One man appeared so frightened to get into the water that he hung onto the boat's side by his fingertips.

Rescue services were immediately alerted to the fire after reports the boat – called the Hurricane – had caught alight from an electric circuit in the engine room.

Egypt's Red Sea Governate said 12 crew members and 12 British tourists were rescued off the southern Red Sea resort town of Marsa Alam.

Cops said the crew rescued suffered no injuries and were taken to shore in good health.

But a search remained for the three Brit tourists – who are now confirmed "perished".

At the time, a spokesman for Tornado Marine Fleet, the company that owns the boat, said: "Today at 6.30am at Elphinstone, while doing the diving briefing, Hurricane caught fire.

"We do have three missing British passengers and all others [have] reached the nearest land safely.

"Now we are bringing the boat back to the marina under authority supervision."

The boat left from Port Ghalib in the eastern city of Marsa Alam on June 6 and was due to return home today.

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."

Those rescued from the water were brought to safety in the nearby diving resort of Marsa Shagra.

The Foreign Office is supporting Brits involved in the incident.

A spokesman said: "We are in contact with local authorities following an incident aboard a dive boat near Marsa Alam, and are supporting British nationals involved."

Fatal boat accidents are uncommon in Egypt.

In 2021 a boat capsized in a lake near Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria, leaving at least five people dead, including three children.

In 1991, the Egyptian ferry, Salem Express sailing from Saudi Arabia to Egypt sank killing as many as 471 people, mostly Muslim pilgrims.

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Egypt's Red Sea resorts harbor some of the country's most renowned beach destinations and are popular with European holiday goers.

It has cemented its reputation as a dive destination with easy access to coral reefs from shores and dive sites offering diverse marine life.


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