Head of the Fishermen’s Association in Suez Bakry Aboul Hassan urged Egyptian authorities Tuesday to resume search operations for 10 missing fishermen whose boat sunk in Sudanese waters.
Aboul Hassan told Daily News Egypt that there are unconfirmed reports, by fishermen who work in the Red Sea region, that the missing Egyptian fishermen are on an Eritrean island close to the site of the wreck.
The fishing vessel Zainat Al-Bahrain sunk near the Sudanese-Eritrean border on 30 January. Two fishermen were rescued the same day, while the body of one of the fishermen was retrieved on 2 February, three days later a second fisherman was found dead.
The rescued fishermen swam for around 300 metres until they met a Sudanese navy ship that rescued them, according to Aboul Hassan.
Also on the same day, a navy unit was sent, on orders from President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, to Sudanese waters to aid in the efforts to find the missing fishermen.
However, the Egyptian’s efforts, along with those of the Sudanese, were to no avail and Egyptian search missions ceased at the beginning of the month.
“I call on the minister of foreign affairs to activate channels with the Eritrean authorities to search the islands near Sudanese waters,” said Aboul Hassan, who insists there is a chance of finding the 10 missing men alive.
He explained that 12 fishermen chose to stay at the wreckage when the two men, who had been rescued, departed. He added that the forensic results of the two corpses shows that the fishermen managed to stay alive for more than five days after the boat sank, which supports the theory that they are alive.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity issued compensations for the families of fishermen who died, were injured or are missing following the sinking of Zainat Al-Bahrain.
Minister Ghada Waly said in a statement Monday that EGP 10,000 will be cashed for families of the deceased fishermen, EGP 5,000 for the families of those missing, and EGP 2,000 for the families of injured fishermen.