Brits cheat death in Red Sea ordeal
Probe after witness says boat was already listing in port
DRAMATIC images show passengers on top of a 42-metre luxury yacht as it capsizes and sinks in the Red Sea.
One British passenger on the Carlton Queen said the boat was listing when they boarded in the marina and it got progressively worse.
Christian Hanson, one of several divers on the trip, said he noticed the vessel was listing by “a couple of degrees” in port.
And it had reached 20 to 30 degrees a couple of days into the trip as he woke up for an early dive, he added.
Another passenger spoke of his “deep feeling of dread” as the crisis unfolded off Egypt’s coast near the resort town of Hurghada.
David Taylor, 53, described his terror as he realised he and his son, Christian, 21, could not escape by the stairwell and that nobody had come to help them.
Mr Taylor said: “I knew something was wrong when I could see fish swimming outside my cabin window.
“We were shouting for help and heard crashing above us and had this deep feeling of dread that something terrible was happening.”
As the vessel, built in 2002 and launched in 2022, keeled over, they met experienced diver Fernando Suarez Meilla. Together the three of them moved from room to room checking no-one else was trapped below deck.
Mr Meilla helped Mr Taylor and his son out on to the top deck after finding the handle on an emergency hatch was broken – but unable to escape himself, he told the others to go on as he looked for another exit.
He eventually found a way out through an open hatch at the bottom of the boat after finding all other routes impossible to get through.
Incredibly, all 26 guests and nine crew on board the Carlton Queen managed to escape during the incident.
Three people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The Carlton Queen carried two 20-person life rafts and two rigid inflatable boats. While one life raft was used, the other was swept away.
Mr Hanson said there were more than 30 people in the remaining raft, with disaster only averted when another ship helped evacuate them.
Speaking to website Divernet, Carlton Queen representatives said they will await results of an accident investigation before commenting. They praised “crew members’ effective management of the situation”.