Three Britons ‘presumed dead’ after boat fire – tour operatoron June 12, 2023 at 8:38 am

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In a statement, Scuba Travel said the tourists’ families had been contacted by the Foreign Office.

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Three British tourists missing after a fire on a dive boat in the Egyptian Red Sea are presumed dead, the tour operator for the trip has said.

In a statement, Scuba Travel said the tourists’ families had been contacted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Twenty-six other people, including 12 Britons, were rescued from the boat called Hurricane, authorities said.

Initial reports suggest the fire, which started at 06:30 local time on Sunday, started after an electrical fault.

The BBC has contacted the Foreign Office, which has not yet confirmed the deaths – but earlier a spokesperson said British nationals were being supported.

The boat left Port Ghalib on 6 June and been due to return on Sunday.

“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,” said the statement from Scuba Travel.

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

It said the 12 Britons on board had been present at an early-morning briefing on Sunday, and the three others who went missing were not as they had “apparently decided not to dive” that morning.

All of those on board were described as “qualified diving enthusiasts”.

The statement said the “severity of the fire” meant that the 12 divers present at the briefing were immediately evacuated to another boat nearby.

They were followed by the 14 crew members, including the captain and two dive guides, after attempts to reach the missing guests were unsuccessful.

Scuba Travel said it had been working with the boat’s operator, Tornado Marine, since 2001.

Guests rescued from the boat were brought on shore to the village of Marsa Shagra, where they were provided with medical assistance and are understood to have given statements to local police.

Scuba Travel added the British tourists rescued from the boat were likely to return to the UK in the coming week, and local authorities would conduct a full investigation into the fire.

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