Red Sea Disaster Averted
The 148 meter long, 2248 dwt ro-ro ferry Pella caught fire and sank off Aqaba, Jordan. The Pella loaded with 1229 passengers was headed for Nuweiba, Egypt from Aqaba. Reports state a fire broke out and quickly got out of control. The Pella’s crew sent out a distress signal and requested passengers go to the lifeboats until rescuers would arrive. Authorities dispatched a tug and another ferry to the scene while naval vessels and military aircraft aided in the rescue effort. Reports state all passengers except one were safely escaped and were rescued. The one passenger jumped overboard and drowned. Several passengers had slight injuries or suffered from smoke inhalation. Damage from the fire is extensive and the ferry has suffered flooding. The fire started in the ferry’s cargo section.