A liveaboard diving charter boat, The Emperor Fraser, has been lost after running on to a reef near Sharm el Sheikh, Eqypt

The Emperor Fraser, one of the Emperor Divers fleet, went aground at Dunraven yesterday.

According to Emperor Divers, diving guests were in the water when the boat’s stern mooring lines broke free after a change in wind direction.

“With divers under water the captain was unable to start the engines in order to prevent the boat from colliding with the reef, causing a breach in the hull,” said the company.

Divers were recalled aboard and an attempt was made to stop the leak in the wooden-hulled vessel.

When it became clear that this would not be possible, the captain ordered all guests and crew to abandon ship.

They were rescued from inflatable boats by a naval vessel and transferred to Sharm el Sheikh, where they were given fresh clothes and hotel accommodation.

The Emperor Fraser, which accommodated up to 18 in one double and eight twin-berth cabins, is “unsalvageable”, said Emperor Divers.

The company is contacting those with outstanding bookings for the boat with offers of alternative itineraries.

The sinking follows that of another Egyptian liveaboard, the Coral Princess, at Jackson Reef in the Straits of Tiran in late November, with the loss of two lives.

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