Two British victims of Egyptian dive boat inferno ‘had decided to sleep in on the morning


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, noting that one of them left the room in an attempt 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 then unable to leave.

The sources told the media outlet that the other two, the man and the woman, 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 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

Three British tourists who were reported as missing have been confirmed dead after a boat caught fire during a diving trip

Scuba Travel, the company that 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.

Investigators combing through the wreckage confirmed today that the three victims were found below deck in their cabins after failing to escape the intense fire. 

Scuba Travel 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.

A video showed terrified passengers jumping from the ship, which had 29 people on board at the time, to escape after a suspected electrical fault in the engine room.

This is the heart-stopping moment a passenger jumps from an Egyptian tourist boat engulfed by flames

This is the heart-stopping moment a passenger 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

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 are thought to be Egyptian. Local police said the people rescued had no injuries and were in good health. 

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

The shocked group of survivors were today being offered trauma counselling following their ordeal, which was compounded by the devastating loss of the three people with whom they bonded closely during their week together. 

The Britons have been moved to a hotel in Hurghada, 180 miles north of the tragedy, while emergency travel documents to allow them to return to the UK are arranged.

A spokesperson for Scuba Travel, Pat Adamson, said: ‘They lost everything on the boat. People will be searching under the sea, but if nothing reappears, then that’s it.

‘All of their credit cards, money, personal belongings, toothbrush, car keys, credit cards, everything gone – and their passports.

‘Their cars are at Gatwick, they don’t have their house keys.’

The group had been together for a week-long trip.

Mr Adamson added: ‘There’s a trauma counsellor with them now. Even though they’d only been together for a few days, it’s a small group and you get to know each other incredibly well.’

The wrecked Egyptian diving boat was seen lying on its side as it was brought to shore for an investigation

The wrecked Egyptian diving boat was seen lying on its side as it was 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  fault

Rescue services were alerted to the fire after the blaze was said to have started in the engine room because of an electrical  fault

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 by the flames as black smoke erupted from the ship

Shocking footage showed the boat’s stern being ravaged by the 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 occurred.

He told MailOnline: ‘[We had] recurring issues from the week of May 1 and 8. 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. 

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

Police 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 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.

The country 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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