Three British tourists missing after a fire on a dive boat in Egypt’s Red Sea are presumed dead, the trip’s tour operator has said.
In a statement, Scuba Travel said the families of the tourists had been contacted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Twenty-six other people, including 12 Britons, were rescued from the boat called Hurricane, authorities said.
Initial reports suggest the fire, which started at 6:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, started after a power outage.
The BBC has contacted the Foreign Office, which has not yet confirmed the deaths – but earlier a spokesperson said British nationals were being cared for.
The boat left Port Ghalib on June 6 and was due to return on Sunday.
“It is with great regret that we as a tour operator, with heavy hearts, must accept that three of our valued dive guests…have perished in this tragic incident,” the Scuba Travel statement read.
“Our heartfelt and heartfelt condolences go out to their families and friends at this very sad time.”
He said the 12 Britons on board had been present for an early morning briefing on Sunday, and the three other missing people were not as they had ‘apparently decided not to dive’ that morning .
Everyone on board was described as “qualified diving enthusiasts”.
The statement said the “severity of the fire” meant that the 12 divers present at the briefing were immediately evacuated to another boat nearby.
They were followed by the 14 crew members, including the captain and two dive guides, after attempts to reach the missing guests failed.
Scuba Travel said it has worked with the boat’s operator, Tornado Marine, since 2001.
Guests rescued from the boat were brought ashore to the village of Marsa Shagra, where they were given medical assistance and reportedly gave statements to local police.
Scuba Travel added that the British tourists rescued from the boat were likely to return to the UK in the coming week and that local authorities would carry out a full investigation into the fire.