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39 Missing After Egyptian Ship Sinks

January 12, 2002

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) _ A large fishing vessel sank off the Red Sea coast Friday and 39 crew members were missing, police said. One body was found.

The Abu el-Fawares sank about 20 miles from Ras Gharib, south of the Suez Canal, in the oil-rich area of Ras Abu Bakr, police said. It was not immediately clear what caused the vessel to sink.

But Egypt’s Middle East News Agency reported that the ship capsized because of 33-feet-high waves, while the fishermen were asleep in the ship’s lower deck. Policde were unable to confirm the report.

The Egyptian-registered ship had been fishing in the Red Sea waters for a few days and did not send any distress signals, police said.

Two crew members were rescued by another fishing boat and taken to the EGPC hospital near Ras Gharib, police said.

The Egyptian navy was searching for 39 other missing crew members with the help of planes belonging to oil companies based in Ras Gharib, about 165 miles southeast of Cairo.

Update hourly