Friday, February 03, 2006
An Egyptian passenger ship carrying 1,300 persons sank in the Red Sea. The ship, 'Salaam 98', had sunk 40 miles off the Egyptian port of Hurghada, the head of the Egyptian Maritime Authority, Mahfouz Taha Marzouk, said today. Helicopters had spotted bodies and one lifeboat carrying three persons in the vicinity of where the 25-year-old ship had been last seen on the radar screens, Egyptian maritime officials said. They did not say how many bodies had been sighted.
Four Egyptian frigates had sailed to rescue survivors, Egypt's Minister of Transport Mohammed Lutfy Mansour had said shortly before the sinking of the ship was announced. The ship disappeared from radar screens shortly after sailing from the western Saudi port of Dubah at 7 p.m. (local time) last night, the maritime officials in Suez said, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the press. The ship was due to have arrived at Egypt's port of Safaga at 3 a.m. (local time), but did not. Dubah and Safaga lie virtually opposite each other, about 120 miles apart, at the northern end of the Red Sea.