‘I knew something was wrong when I saw fish swimming outside my window’: British tourist describes how he survived terrifying ship capsize in Egypt as doomed Carlton Queen yacht slipped beneath the Red Sea
- Boat capsized with 26 guests and nine crew on board near Egypt in late April
- Tourist David Taylor spoke of his experiences as a guest on the sinking ship
A British tourist who escaped a Poseidon Adventure-style shipwreck in April has told of the ‘deep feeling of dread’ as they watched their vessel capsize in the Red Sea.
The Carlton Queen yacht, a 45-metre liveaboard, sank on 25 April after rolling onto its side off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt.
David Taylor, 53, a tourist on the boat, told The Telegraph: ‘I knew something was wrong when I could see fish swimming outside my cabin room’s window’.
He described the ‘horrendous’ realisation the vessel had capsized, adding: ‘We were shouting for help and heard crashing above us and had this deep feeling of dread that something terrible was happening.’
All 26 guests and nine crew on board the Carlton Queen managed to escape the wreckage, with three taken to hospital for minor injuries.
The vessel was en route to the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt when it sank in late April
Image shows the vessel on its side as guests successfully escaped with help from the crew
A diving team stands by near a RIB near the sinking boat in Egypt
Mr Taylor described the terror of realising he and his son, Christian, 21, could not escape by the stairwell and that nobody had come to help them.
As the ship sank, they met Mr Suarez Meilla, an experienced diver who moved with them from room to room checking for anybody else trapped in the boat.
Without panicking, Mr Suarez Meilla helped Mr Taylor and his son out of the hold onto the top deck after finding the handle on an emergency hatch was broken.
Unable to hoist himself out, the diver told the others to go on as he looked for another way out.
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.
Mr Taylor expressed concerns as to why a recently refitted boat would sink on calm waters.
Christian Hanson, a diver from the UK also on the sinking ship, said he noticed upon boarding on 22 April that the boat was listing by ‘a couple of degrees’.
He said it had reached 20 to 30 degrees a couple of days into the trip as he woke up for an early dive.
When the vessel sank, guests were stranded without passports or their belongings.
The Carlton Queen carried two 20-person life-rafts and two Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs).
One of the rafts was launched, the other reportedly deployed automatically and swept away.
Witnesses also one of the RIBs had crushed the other when the vessel capsized.
Hanson said there were more than 30 people in the remaining raft at one point, and the group was fortunate two RIBs from another ship came to evacuate them.
The Carlton Queen carried two 20-person life-rafts and two Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs)
Tourists who survived the sinking of the Carlton Queen near Hurghada in Egypt in April
The Carlton Queen was said to have sunk on calm waters despite being recently refitted
Speaking to Divernet, the Carlton Queen Red Sea said they would not comment on the cause of the accident until the investigation was over.
They did praise the ‘crew members’ effective management of the situation, which spared the lives of all passengers’.
They said in a statement they were working with the Egyptian authorities to determine the cause of the accident.
Divers have organised a fundraiser to replace lost possessions, as well as medical and legal expenses.