Anyone with any information, please, contact
The missing divers are: Dutch Michel van Assendelft, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver; Russian Dmitry Kapitonov, PADI Open Water Diver; Russian Elena Sundukova, PADI Instructor; and Egyptian Mahmoud Ahmed Hamdan, dive guide.
Four tourists and a dive guide had entered the water at Elphinstone reef at about 9 a.m. on the 6th of January, 2007 in rough conditions. They surfaced about half an hour later to find that they had separated from their boat. The only boat in sight was distant yacht which did not spot them.
The current changed and took the divers northward away from the reef. The coast was in sight and they decided to swim towards it. They were holding hands to stay together and to keep alert. They were swimming towards shore till 6 p.m. After that four of them were flat-out and could not fight the waves. So, one of the group decided to swim separately (leaving his BCD with the rest) against the current doing his best to reach the shore and to alert a rescue-team. He did it by 9-10 p.m.
Nobody knows if there was an attempt to rescue four divers that night. There's a broad discussion (in Russian blogs and forums) about what the owner of diving center was doing in daytime when the boat had returned without divers (the boy said he waited for about an hour and a half) and the divers had been reported missing. It seems there was no rescue-boat or anything at all at that critical period of time. As the survived diver says, they saw only two passing by yachts while they were swimming to the shoreline, and that's all.
Search for the divers continued for 4 days afterwards. And 5 days more (from January, 11 till January, 15) the friends of russian divers were searching by themselves, getting help from everywhere. Divers disappeared without any trace.
We need ANY information on this accident. Any facts: people's names, boats' names, weather conditions, number of helicopters/planes you saw in the sky over the sea at that period, rescue teams you probably noticed on the beach or near dive sites. Feel free to contact us!
http://www.taucher.net/unfall/Vier_Taucher_im_Roten_Meer_verschollen__itu469.html#28 - (german)
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