Red Sea Tragedy

BARRY IVERSON for TIME

After hours at sea, some lucky survivors return from the capsized ferry

A jolt shook the passenger ferry Al Salam Boccaccio 98 during an overnight voyage across the Red Sea last week, stirring Girgis Rifaat awake in his cabin. "People began yelling 'Fire, fire!'" Rifaat, a 30-year-old Egyptian returning from his job as a salesman in Kuwait, told Time at a hospital in Hurghada. "I realized that the boat was going down." As the vessel listed precariously, Rifaat leapt overboard, swam to a lifeboat and waited 19 hours before being pulled out of the water by a helicopter. Most of the other 1,510 people thought to be on board, mainly Egyptian workers,...

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