Tourists, crew members rescued after boat catches fire in Egypt’s southern Red Sea

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Egyptian authorities said three British tourists were missing after a scuba diving boat they were cruising in caught fire on the Red Sea coastline on Sunday.

The Red Sea Governorate said 26 people including 12 crew members were rescued when the medium-sized scuba diving boat, Hurricane, went up in flames off the southern Red Sea resort town of Marsa Alam.

A search party was launched to find the remaining three tourists.

Citing initial investigations, Egyptian authorities said an electrical short circuit in the boat’s engine room sparked the blaze.

The Public Prosecution Office moved to examine and investigate the cause of the fire.

The motor yacht departed on June 6 from Port Ghalib Marina and was scheduled to return on Sunday.

The rescued tourists and the crew were taken to the beach of Marsa Shagra Village. They are in good health and unharmed.

The fire in the boat was reported while the vessel was reaching the Elphinstone region, 25 km north of Marsa Alam.

Maj. Gen. Mohammed Bandari, secretary of the Red Sea Governorate, said that the Egyptian Ambulance Authority and the Directorate of Health Affairs had been notified to raise the maximum level of readiness.

The Red Sea Governorate is one of the largest in Egypt.

All its cities and villages overlook the Red Sea coast.

On Thursday, a Russian tourist was killed by a shark while swimming off the coast of the Red Sea city of Hurghada.

Tourist destinations on the coasts of the Red Sea are the largest, as they have hundreds of tourist and hotel facilities, in addition to dozens of infrastructure facilities serving the industry.

According to the latest statistics of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the governorates of the Red Sea and South Sinai contained 511 hotel establishments in 2022, in addition to 439 centers for marine activities and diving.

Egypt’s Red Sea resorts host some of the country’s most renowned beach destinations and are popular with European travelers.

The region has cemented its reputation as a dive destination with easy access to coral reefs containing diverse marine life.

In recent years, Egypt has gone to great lengths to bolster its tourism industry, hurt by years of political instability, COVID-19 and the negative economic effects of the conflict in Ukraine.

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