Popular Red Sea liveaboards including MY Typhoon, MY VIP One, MY Hyatt and Sweet Dream have been destroyed by fire while undergoing routine maintenance in dry dock in the Suez. No-one was injured in the 30 January blaze, which is believed to have started on MY Typhoon before spreading to other vessels in strong winds.
Firefighters tried to control the fires during fierce winds caused by recent storms across the Red Sea, however, they were unable to rescue the four boats.
The authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the blaze, but preliminary reports indicate that the first started in the dry dock electricity wiring to MY Typhoon. As a boating incident, the investigation has to be carried out by the Egyptian Maritime Authority.
The operators of the liveaboards, all CDWS members, are currently organising alternative arrangements for diving guests booked on these boats throughout 2010.
In a statement, Tornado Marine Fleet, which operates Typhoon, said: ‘Typhoon has given many happy memories to clients and staff alike and will be missed within the fleet. Plans are already in process to expand the fleet once again and we hope we will be announcing a new arrival in the near future.’
A spokesman for Red Sea Diving College, which operates MY VIP One said: ‘The fire, which started on another boat, quickly became out of control and efforts by the fire crews could not prevent the fire from spreading from boat to boat, destroying everything in its path. All bookings will be contacted shortly regarding their reservations.’
Passing on his message of support to members affected by the blaze, CDWS managing director Zeyad M ElBassel said: ‘Although the CDWS has no power to investigate such matters, we are in close contact with authorities about the incident. Thankfully no person was injured. These safari boats, all CDWS members, have been operating for many years and it is sad that they will no longer be welcoming divers to the Red Sea and showing the best that these waters have to offer.’
Source: CDWS Press release