Port of Jeddah is located on the eastern shore of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. With this port is connected biggest disaster in the Red Sea.15th December 1991 the Egyptian ferry "Salem Express" traveling from Jeddah to Safaga - Egyptian port. The ferry was loaded the car and had on board about seven hundred passengers, mostly pilgrims from Mecca. The ship itself was based in Safaga and served for a regular ferry service between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In 1988, the owner of the shipping company «Samatour» Alexandria ... Read more
appointed captain "Salem Express" Hassan Moro. He was a first-class sailor with extensive experience sailing on merchant ships. Moreau once even gave lessons to students Naval Academy in Egypt.
The captain knew the route, which runs between the two ports - Safaga and Jeddah. On this path lies reef Hindman. As it turned out later, the captain of the only one constantly drove the ship by this dangerous reef. Such a risky maneuver saves almost two hours compared to a safer route from another Panorama Reef, without calling in the shallows. But on December 15th in the area closer to midnight there was overcast and rain. In poor visibility and increasing gale ship approached the reef Hindman. Captain Moro decided to take advantage of the lee shore and dismissed the steam from his usual route. The ferry ran into the reef, which was located south of all, and the ship was heavy glancing blow. The ship's hull is breached appeared in front of on the starboard side. But that was not the only problem. As a result, a strong blow in the cargo hold hatch opened, and water began to rapidly fill it. The situation was catastrophic, to the same storm continued. Many passengers were on deck, among them immediately rose panic. The ship stood up and began to heel. The ferry has been steadily sinking into the abyss. Everything happened so fast that none of the members of the team did not have time to pull the water no lifeboats or rafts. Only 20 minutes had passed after hitting a reef, and "Salem Express" sank. According to official figures, 180 people were saved only, which brought over to the shore. They were mostly members of the team, good swimmers. To help the sinking ferry to try to reach several smaller vessels, some even managed to moor on the starboard side. But because of the danger of losing their own ship they retreated. The ferry sank to a depth of 30 meters, the starboard lying on the bottom
During the official investigation revealed that on board the ferry were killed 650 people. Of these, 72 crew members and 578 passengers. Many later claimed that the passengers on board the "Salem Express" was more. This version has not been confirmed, and the official list was approved on the basis of 470 people dead. It is considered unlikely that excessively overloaded ferry allowed to go to sea. Most of the relatives of the victims were not satisfied with the progress of the investigation, they require new responses. All actions of Captain Moreau and his team have been subjected to severe criticism. But all agreed on one thing - there was too little time to save more people. Of course, the only person responsible for the tragedy, was recognized Captain Hassan Moro. But he died in office, dividing the tragic fate of the majority of its passengers.
To dive on the "Salem Express" divers are ambiguous. Some refuse to attend the ferry and even opposed to any diving place of death. This wreck leaves too heavy impression on the scale of the disaster unfolded here. On the other hand, any wreck - tragedy, because there were ragged life, someone's fate, shattered hopes. But no one else because of it did not give up diving, for example, on the «Carnatic», whose death took the lives of 31 people. Divers are on the Thistlegorm, which killed nine people 9. Although it is "Salem Express", indeed, still has a certain aur