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Could Red Sea Capsize Have Been Averted?

There are conflicting accounts of the weather conditions on the day the Coral Princess sunk, but divers onboard report she had been listing for 3 days prior to the accident.  One might wonder, if this is the case, whether the trip ought to have been aborted? The Egyptian Maritime & Safety Authority has taken the captain of the Coral Princess into custody pending the outcome of their enquiry into the incident which claimed 2 lives.

Red Sea SunsetWhile her guests slept on the morning of 19 Nov 09,  the Coral Princess  capsized and sunk in the Straits of Tiran near Sharm el Sheik. Upon reaching the deck Israel Pérez couldn’t find his wife, María González,  and he raced below to find her.  Neither of them were among the 14 divers and 7 crew who successfully escaped.

A naval boat searched for 5 hours, but found no trace of the missing Spanish couple or the vessel.

The Chairman of Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS), Hesham Gabr, has specifically declared this to be a boating and not a diving incident. The CDWS coordinated a search for the boat returning an approximate GPS location of 8.3 km from Naama Bay jetty at a depth of over 1 km.  The information has been handed to the family of the missing Spanish guests in the event that Spanish authorities are willing and able to go forward with salvage operations.

Sources: Chamber News, Divernet, Dive Magazine.

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