“Captain Hassan Moreau was a seasoned captain and under his command was the ferry Salem Express, and, being considered the best, he kept the local waters by heart, when returning from Safaga, he used to take an unauthorized shortcut between the mainland Wahid Hindman Reef, This shortens his journey by two full hours, but none of his fellow ship captains cross this road except him.”
With these words, the website of the Egyptian Diving and Maritime Activities Chamber describes the accident of the ferry "Salem Express", which sank while returning from the port of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on December 15, 1991, which coincided with its 30th anniversary yesterday, Wednesday, heading to Safaga seaport, and after it The weather conditions deteriorated and the winds got stronger at nightfall, yet the captain of the ferry did not change the course of his voyage.
It is now allowed for divers to visit the wreck of the ferry, but they are not allowed to enter the body of the ferry at all (communication sites)
Soon, the ferry collided with a group of coral reefs "Hindman", 16 kilometers from the Egyptian port. 470 passengers were killed, most of them Egyptians, including the captain of the ship, Moro, while about 180 people survived.
The Egyptian newspaper, Akhbar Al-Youm, states that the armed forces pushed naval vessels and aircraft to participate in search and rescue operations, and succeeded in rescuing 178 passengers, and found the captain's body the next day of the accident.
The prosecution’s investigations stated that the ship was subjected to Egyptian and Saudi maritime inspection and from the English Supervisory and Inspection Authority, according to the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm.
Three decades after the accident, the wreck of the sunken ferry has become the focus of attention for diving enthusiasts in the Red Sea, as it attracts tourists from Egypt and all over the world, watching coral reefs, algae, oysters and crustaceans that grew on the ferry's body, as fish of various shapes, types and colors roam around the ship lying in the deeps.
Diving centers in the Red Sea set a program to visit the wreck of the Salem Express, and the divers can roam inside the wreck of the ferry, through a program of 3 dives, accompanied by a professional coach who knows the places of entry and exit from the ferry, so as not to lose his escorts during their wanderings inside the wreck of the ferry, With a warning against diving alone or entering dark areas on the ferry, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.
Divers watch the entire wreck that was left as it is for 3 decades, and many divers document their trips to the wreck of the "Salem Express" through their pages on social networking sites, such as the photographer and Italian submarine Renata Romeo, who travels around the world to practice diving.
Romeo says that she visited the site of the wreck of the "Salem Express" with a group of divers, and was able to see the wreck, where the highest part of the wreck can be reached from a depth of 12 meters.
And Romeo adds - in her speech to CNN Arabic - that visiting the ferry site requires knowing the tragic story, and being aware of the extent of the pain felt by the passengers, who are now part of the site.
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Description of the wreck
According to the website of the Chamber of Diving and Marine Activities, divers are allowed to visit the wreck, but they are not allowed to enter the hull at all.
The site adds that the ferry "Salem Express" is lying in the depths in a completely intact condition on its right side, and it seems that the ship's bow gate is still moving open and closed.
The front deck of the ferry contains rows of square windows, and a small mast stands above the cockpit, and behind it are lifeboat winches on both sides. .
Passengers' belongings remain
The "DMC" program showed recent photos from inside the wreck site of the ferry last year, showing the sunken passenger belongings, such as cars and bags.
Diving instructor, Mohamed Sayed, says that the Salem Express site is one of the most important and most interesting diving sites in the Red Sea, and is characterized by transparent visibility.
Sayed added - in televised statements - that the diver who wants to visit the wreck of the ferry must have an "adventurous diver" license, and have several specific diving with him, given the difficulty of the site and the depth of 33 meters.
"Mako", a documentary film that brings back painful memories of the team that witnessed the tragic moments of drowning (Al Jazeera)
Months ago, the artist Basma presented a movie entitled "Mako", based on the story of the sinking of the ferry "Salem Express", to tell about 8 people who go on a diving trip to visit its wreckage and present it in a documentary film, to bring back painful memories of the team that witnessed the tragic moments of drowning, and participated in the championship The film was directed by Nahed El Sebaei, Amr Wahba, Sarah El-Shamy, Munther Rihana and Nicolas Moawad, and directed by Mohamed Hisham El-Rashidi.