Two British victims of Egyptian dive boat inferno ‘had decided to sleep in on the morning fire broke out, while other Brit who died returned to his cabin to grab personal belongings’
- There were 29 passengers on board when the boat became engulfed in flames
- The three Brits had chosen not go to diving, slowing down their evacuation
Two British victims on the Egyptian dive boat that caught fire in the Red Sea had decided to sleep in on the morning fire broke out, while the other Brit who died returned to his cabin to grab personal belongings, according to a report.
Sources told Al Arabiya.net that the three missing persons, a woman and two men, were inside their rooms on the boat at the moment that the fire broke out on Sunday morning, so one of them left the room trying to escape, but then returned.
They also added that he may have wanted to take his phone, passport or some of his personal belongings from the room, but he was unable to escape.
The sources told the media outlet that the other two, the man and the woman, were sleep lovers who hated waking up early, and were asleep when the fire started, because they did not take part in the diving trip.
They also noted that their rooms were located near the fuel tank, which meant that they did leave them, and that they may have died from suffocation or from their burns.
Three British tourists who were reported as missing have been confirmed dead after a boat caught fire during a diving trip
Scuba Travel, who chartered the boat, announced that the three Brits who ‘perished in the tragic incident’ off the coast of Marsa Alam had chosen not to go diving that day, leaving them unable to evacuate the boat quickly.
The tour boat company said that the three passengers were among 15 qualified diving enthusiasts who were on board the ‘Hurricane’ boat for a week-long trip when the fire broke out at around 6.30am UK time.
‘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 company added,
Scuba Travel said that due to the severity of the blaze, 12 divers were evacuated immediately to a nearby craft, while the 14 crew members had to abandon the ship after trying to reach the missing guests.
Footage on social media showed the tour boat transform into a floating inferno as its stern was engulfed by flames, producing plumes of black smoke while it was off the Elphinstone Reef in the Red Sea.
Video showed terrified passengers jumping from the ship, which had 29 people on board at the time, into the water to escape after a suspected electrical fault in the engine room.
This is the heart-stopping moment a passengers jumps from an Egyptian tourist boat engulfed by flames
Other passengers could be seen dropping down from the boat into nearby crafts in a bid to escape
A spokesman for Scuba Travel confirmed to MailOnline yesterday: ‘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 the tragic incident.
‘Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to their families and friends at this very sad time.’
In total, 26 passengers were rescued, 12 British and the other 14 thought to be Egyptian. Local police said the people rescued had no injuries and were in good health.
Cops said the crew rescued suffered no injuries and were taken to shore in good health.
The wrecked Egyptian diving boat was seen lying on its side as its brought to shore for an investigation
Rescue services were alerted to the fire after the blaze was said to have started in the engine room because of an electrical circuit
A full investigation is set to be carried out by local authorities to determine what caused the fire. The wrecked boat has been pictured lying on its side with smoke still billowing out of it on the shore as it cools down.
The cruiser left Port Ghalib in the eastern city of Marsa Alam on June 6, and was meant to return on Sunday.
It was said to be one of the Tornado Marine Fleet tours, which offers ‘Luxury Red Sea Liveaboards’ for just under £1,500 per trip.
A Foreign Office spokesman said on Sunday: ‘We are in contact with local authorities following an incident aboard a dive boat near Marsa Alam, and are supporting British nationals involved.’
MailOnline has contacted the Foreign Office for an updated comment.
Shocking footage showed the boat’s stern being ravaged with flames as black smoke erupted from the ship
The Red Sea Governorate said: ‘The initial examination resulted in an electrical short circuit in the engine room, and the investigation authorities went to conduct an inspection and investigation.’
It added: ‘[The Secretary General] pointed out that the crew and passengers were rescued by the boat named ‘Blue’ and returned to central Marsa Alam, and a search is still underway for three British passengers by the concerned authorities and other boats, stressing that the Ambulance Authority and the Directorate of Health Affairs have been notified to raise the level of readiness and follow-up is underway.’
A diving enthusiast who was on the same ship in May, said the boat was plagued with problems and no one was surprised the blaze had happened.
He told MailOnline: ‘[We had] recurring issues from the week of 1 and 8 May. There was no nitrox on board. They should have had it but they never told us.
‘The toilets and the showers weren’t working properly.’
He added: ‘There was some issue below the decks. They were pumping something out but it was coming up my toilet.
Cops said the crew rescued suffered no injuries and were taken to shore in good health
The scuba diving ship moored at Daedalus Reef in the Red Sea, Egypt, before the blaze
‘The crew work very hard – they don’t get paid a lot – but the boat has seen better days.
‘I was in cabin six in the bow so I wouldn’t have wanted to get out from there.
‘None of us are surprised that [the blaze] happened.’
Egypt’s Red Sea resorts harbour some of the country’s most renowned beach destinations and are popular with European holidaymakers.
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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