WATCH: The boat, called Hurricane, caught fire off the coast of Marsa Alam
By Suzanne Leigh
Three British tourists are missing after a fire on board a dive boat on the Egyptian Red Sea.
Twenty-six other people, including 12 Britons, were rescued from the boat, called Hurricane, which was off the coast of Marsa Alam, authorities said.
They added that initial reports suggested the fire, at 06:30 local time, was down to an electrical fault.
The boat had been on a dive cruise and had left Port Ghalib on 6 June and been due to return on Sunday.
The boat’s operator, Tornado Marine Fleet, said 15 British passengers had been on board along with 12 crew members and two guides – a different figure to that given earlier by the local authority, the Red Sea Governorate.
The local authority said initial examinations had found an electrical short circuit in the engine room, while the public prosecution office had begun an investigation.
All of those who had been rescued were said to be well.
The Hurricane is one of several operated by Tornado Marine Fleet.
A spokesman said the fire happened while crew were doing the diving briefing at Elphinstone Reef – a diving destination known for its wealth of marine life including colourful corals and sharks.
Scuba Travel, which chartered the boat, said the group on board had been on a seven-day tour and the company was working with the local authorities and specialist advisers.
“Our first priority is the safety of our guests,” a spokesman said.
The Red Sea is a popular resort for diving trips.
“This is really bad news for the tourism industry,” said BBC News correspondent Sally Nabil. “They depend on tourism, particularly British tourism.”
The Foreign Office said it was supporting British nationals involved.
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.”