I woke this morning to CNN breaking in to regular programing to report that an Egyptian cruise ship, the Salaam 98, had disappeared from radar in the Red Sea, off the coast of Saudi Arabia.
Some reports say that life boats have been spotted near where the ship had last been seen. There were also reports of bodies in the water.
An Egyptian helicopter spotted a lifeboat carrying three people, an official said. He added the search was being hampered by bad weather.
The ship, which according to CNN television reports can carry more then 1400 passengers, had 1300 on board when it disapeared.
Sky News reports:
David Osler, industrial editor at Lloyd’s List, said: “It does look like we are fearing the worst.” He described the ship as a roll on, roll off passenger ferry dating back to the 1970s.
He said: “The problem is with this type of ferry is they only need a relatively small amount of water to get on board to start an uncontrollable rocking effect that capsizes the ship.”
Reuters reports that the Egyptian company el-Salam Maritime Transport owns the ship. A sister vessel, the Al Salam 95, sank in the Red Sea in October. It had collided with another vessel. Two passengers died and about 100 were injured in that accident.