Fatal accident occurred in moderate conditions

The sinking of an Egyptian liveaboard in November, which cost two people’s lives, occurred in conditions which should not have posed a problem to the vessel.
Two diving charterers were lost and presumed dead when the 28m-long Coral Princess sank near the Red Sea’s Jackson Reef, in the Straits of Tiran.

The boat left Sharm el Sheikh at around 4am and, while her charterers from Spain remained in bed, headed for Jackson Reef.

At about 5am, just before dawn, the vessel capsized and sank while still under way.

Fourteen charterers and seven crew managed to abandon and were rescued. But despite searches, two of the charterers could not be traced.

They were named by Spanish media as a married couple, Israel Pérez and Maria Lourdes González, both 33, from Valencia. It was suspected that their bodies remained in the vessel, which now lies some 1000m down.

The missing divers' families have had to be informed that the Egyptian authorities do not possess hardware with which to mount an internal search of the wreck.

Hesham Gabr, Chairman of Egypt's Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS), has said that, according to Spanish reports and one of the divers on board, Coral Princess suffered from a list for the first three days of the charter.

He added that, according to his information, the boat had gone down in moderate conditions and not in rough weather, as reported by some media.

The boat's skipper is being held in custody as a regional prosecutor investigates the sinking and the possibility that the boat had been in a condition under which it should not have departed from Sharm el Sheikh.

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