Over 200 foreigners and locals rescued in Egypt in 2014
Accidents and disasters (natural and man-made) are invariable concomitants of our lives; it’s not always possible to stave them off but in vast majority of cases irreproachable, well-coordinated work of rescue teams allows preventing big human casualties. Lately Egyptian authorities started paying special attention to the safety issues.
During the last year there were a few successful operations aimed at saving the lives of tourists and local dwellers. It’s remarkable that the army and police collaborate with rescue teams to ensure a higher level of security.
In January 2014 Egyptian life-guards saved 30 people from the diving boat “Mary Lou” that ran into a storm and sank in Red Sea. According to Egypt’s security official, there were 19 Russian and 11 Egyptian citizens on board; the tourists were heading to coral reefs from the city of Safaga.
Another 29 travelers sailing along the Nile owe their salvation to the River Rescue Forces and Civil Protection Forces. Fire broke out in one of the cabins of the cruiser “Miss Ezadora 1” at Edfu anchorage in Aswan. There were nine Englishmen, five Spaniards, five German, two Koreans and eight Egyptians including a child. Only one of them singed.
In February Egypt’s servicemen rescued four tourists lost in mountains of South Sinai. The then Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi sent a special aircraft to assist patrol and border guards in searching for the survivors, however, only four out of eight foreigners were found alive; the three were dead and one was reported missing.
A touristic steamboat “Nile Festival” at Edfu anchorage caught fire in April. It had 84 foreign tourists and 79 workers and tour guides on board. All were rescued with no injuries.
May brought another challenge and another little victory. This time the rescuers had to face a natural disaster – sandstorm in Upper Egypt. Severe storm damaged Crocodile Museum of Kom Ombo and capsized a touristic Nile boat in Aswan; one South African passenger went missing, six others foreigners – from Poland, Australia and South Africa – as well as three Egyptians were rescued.
No other accident involving tourists have occurred in Egypt since May, though there were a few bus crashes resulted in big human casualties. In November after the school bus crash killed 18 and injured another 18, the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi appealed to the government asking it to develop an urgent national plan aimed at road accidents prevention and to accept tougher sanctions for those, who violate traffic law, especially on highways.