Second death on firm's Egypt tours

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 August, 2007, 12:00am

A Hong Kong travel firm has insisted it takes all measures necessary to ensure the safety of holidaymakers joining its tours to Egypt, after the second death in less than a month of a tour party member while snorkelling in the Red Sea.

A 38-year-old Hong Kong holidaymaker died yesterday, three weeks after a middle-aged woman snorkeller died of a heart attack.

Steve Huen Kwok-chuen, executive director of EGL Tours, said 34 of 39 people on a nine-day tour to the North African country opted to go snorkelling. The deceased claimed he was a strong swimmer and declined to wear a safety vest, Mr Huen said, adding it was up to individuals whether they wore vests.

Three staff accompanied the snorkellers, while three others stayed on the boat. The wife of the man who died was on the boat.

Mr Huen said that soon after the group began snorkelling, the man was spotted underwater and signalling with his hands that he was in trouble. Staff immediately pulled him from the water, but were unable to revive him. The boat arrived back at the pier 20 minutes later, where paramedics also tried to revive him.

The man is suspected to have died of a heart attack. Two relatives left for Cairo yesterday to arrange the return of his body.