HURGHADA: A Russian scuba diver swept away by strong currents off the southern Egyptian coast says he managed to survive by swimming some 20 kilometers (12 miles) to shore.
Vitaly Ivanov told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he doesn’t know what happened to three other Russian divers who are still missing.
The Russians were part of a group of six who went diving Monday in the Red Sea near the Egyptian resort town of Marsa Alam. Two of them surfaced shortly after the dive, and several boats and a helicopter searched for the others until nightfall.
Ehab Taher, director of the scuba diving tourism office in the Red Sea port of Hurghada, said Ivanov was found early Tuesday morning at a tourist village in Al-Quseir, located north of Marsa Alam.
Divers say the underwater currents in the area are strong. The region is also famous for hosting large numbers of sharks during the summer.
The four were reported missing after six hours of search by several boats and a helicopter. According to the official news agency MENA, the search included broadcasting radio appeals to nearby ships to help out.
The search stopped after dark and resumed early Tuesday morning, Taher said.
Thousands of divers flock to the Red Sea every year for its world-famous coral reefs.
Five Russians, a Dutchman and an Egyptian lost their lives in two incidents in the same area in 2007.
In May a young German tourist drowned while diving at Dahab in the south east of the Sinai peninsula. -Agencies