Late yesterday evening, following our recent article on the sinking of the Carlton Queen Liveaboard in the Northern Red Sea, we were contacted by a guest who was onboard during the incident. We have spent the last few hours in a constant back and forth discussion with this guest on what happened, from their perspective.
Please note, that this is following the conversation with the guest and events are to the best of their recollection and clearly we were not onboard during the incident to verify the details.
According to the account we have received, the trip started with a check dive before heading to Abu Nuhas to dive the SS Carnatic, followed by a night dive. The morning began with a dive on the Giannis D before heading to the Sinai region.
The vessel was apparently listing from the beginning of the trip and despite this being mentioned, no real answers were given to the reason and nothing done to address the problem. During what the guest considered to be relatively calm seas, the Captain turned the boat and this caused her to list even further, before capsizing.
The Captain was the first to depart the vessel and some guests evacuated to a life raft or into the water. Some guests were in the downstairs cabins and were able to escape with some assistance, in what was clearly a harrowing situation.
Some people were able to retrieve phones and wallets as they were easily accessible but the majority of personal belongings and diving equipment have been lost. The guests are currently liaising with their embassies to arrange replacement passports.
The group was collected by another boat which was close by and assisted in providing replacement clothes and were taken to a hotel on return to the marina. Some minor injuries required hospital treatment.
Our contact is unable to comment on the condition of the boat, which we understand to have only recently launched but he did put the responsibility with the boat captain, whose actions he believed directly resulted in the sinking.
In a final comment, he told us that he was still shaking and crying from the incident and simply wanted to return home to his children.
We will update when more information is available.