Three tourists drown in Red Sea after submarine collides with coral reef
THREE tourists have drowned in the Red Sea after a tourist submarine collided with a coral reef, shattering its glass windows.
A German couple and their child died in the accident off the resort town of Hurghada.
Thirteen other tourists of different nationalities were rescued.
Egyptian state television said a preliminary tourism police investigation found that the submarine had collided with a coral reef, shattering a glass partition and filling the vessel with water.
Four of the rescued tourists were taken to hospital, state television reported.
Submarine excursions allow tourists to see coral formations and exotic fish without having to snorkel or dive.
Submarines can accommodate up to 45 people and dive to a depth of 70ft.
The bigger ones are operated by two pilots and have large reinforced glass windows.
Egypt's Red Sea resorts, especially Sharm el-Sheikh, are well known for their white sand beaches and rich underwater life.
But in December 2010, a spate of shark attacks killed one German woman and injured four other tourists, forcing the closure of Sharm el-Sheikh's beaches for several weeks.
More than a million Britons visited Egypt last year, despite the political violence which rocked the country.
The biggest danger posed to tourists in the Sinai is terrorism – there have been three bomb attacks on the peninsula since 2004, with British nationals killed or injured in each.
The most recent occurred in April 2006 in the resort town of Dahab, which is less developed than Sharm el-Sheikh and popular with backpackers.