Three Britons presumed dead in Egypt after Red Sea tourist boat fire

The tour operator has said 'we must accept' that the three Britons who decided not to dive on Sunday perished in the fire.

Footage shows the boat on fire in the Red Sea off the coast of an Egyptian tourist resort. ITV News’ Neil Connery has the latest

Three British divers have been presumed dead after a tourist boat caught fire on the Red Sea in Egypt.

A spokesperson for Scuba Travel, who arranged the tour on the dive boat Hurricane, said the three people were among 15 qualified diving enthusiasts who were enjoying a week’s stay on board.

Operated by Tornado Marine, 12 of the 15 were participating in a briefing on the boat when the fire broke out.

“Those missing had apparently decided not to dive that morning,” the spokesperson said.

“The severity of the fire meant that the 12 divers were immediately evacuated by rib to another craft nearby and the 14 crew members, including the Captain and two dive guides, having tried to reach the missing guests, also had to abandon ship and were rescued by rib.

“It is with great regret that we, as Tour Operator, with heavy hearts, must accept that three of our much-valued dive guests, who had not participated in the dive briefing, early on the morning of June 11, perished in the tragic incident.

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

Scuba Travel thanked the Foreign Office for their work expediting emergency travel documents for the guests travelling back to the UK.

The fire broke out at 6.30am on Sunday off the Elphinstone Reef.

A “preliminary examination” of the incident has identified an “electrical mass in the engine room” as the cause of the fire, according to a statement from the Red Sea Governorate.

Local authorities and police are to conduct a full investigation into the cause of the fire.

The boat is currently being towed to a Port, yet to be chosen, as the vessel is “still smoldering with cooling required before entry.”

Last week, a Russian man died off the coast of an Egyptian Red Sea resort after being attacked by a shark.

Russia’s Consul General in the city of Hurghada, eastern Egypt, confirmed that a man, who was born in 1999, had died.

Viktor Voropayev said the incident took place off Dream Beach – a popular tourist resort – in Hurghada.

He added that the man was not a tourist, but a permanent resident of Egypt.

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