A fishing boat sunk off the coast of Marsa Matruh on Monday with the Egyptian navy launching an operation to rescue the fishermen caught in bad weather.
The vessel sent out a distress signal early Monday morning, according to Matruh’s security director Amin Ezzedine. Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ordered two helicopters and a C-130 transport aircraft, as well as warships from Alexandria, 240km to the east, to search for the crew, believed to number between 10 and 12.
Military spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali said the planes and boats had arrived in the area where the boat sank. He confirmed the navy had deployed rubber boats equipped with search and rescue equipment, but harsh weather conditions have made searching extremely difficult.
Despite the unfriendly weather conditions the boat has been found, but the crew is still missing.
The vessel is believed to have suffered a broken propeller column and engine failure.
According to state-run news agency MENA, presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said President Mohamed Morsy had asked defence minister Al-Sisi and the governor of Matruh Ahmed Hilmi Alheiatmi to keep him informed of developments.