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8 Chilling Photos of the Salem Express Ship Wreckage Off Egypt's Red Sea Coast

It sank to the bottom of the Red Sea twenty seven years ago this month, killing over 400 passengers.

MV Salem Express

Shortly after midnight on December 17th, 1991, the Panama-owned ferry MV Salem Express sailed from Jeddah en-route to Safaga Port with 690 people on-board, most of whom were Egyptians returning from pilgrimage.

As it approached the Egyptian coast, the passenger ship ran into coral reefs off Safaga, incurring devastating damage and immediately sinking  into the deep blue, dragging at least 470 souls down with it.

It wasn't quick and painless, however, for the horrified passengers were left to drown in freezing water for nine hours before any rescue mission officially took off. The ones who survived amounted to 178 people, with one crew member miraculously swimming for thirty five hours straight to safety. 

Some 10 years after the incident, divers began exploring the area, and found its debris to be perfectly intact. It had broken TVs, toddlers' dresses, motorcycles, and empty bags - a perfectly-preserved, underwater time-capsule from 1991. 

Here are eight photos from wreckage of a tragedy that happened 27 years ago this month.