Red Sea search for missing UK sailor

Search for missing sailor Colin Finnie after wreck found in Egypt

Coastguards are searching for a Scottish businessman who is missing after his yacht was found washed up on a reef in the Red Sea.

Colin Finnie was on a solo voyage to Port Ghalib in Egypt. His family last heard from him on 7 December, reporting he was “in storms and low on fuel”.

It is understood the the 44ft (13.4m) yacht was found empty near Marsa Alam.

Mr Finnie, from Helensburgh, previously owned the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen.

The hotel, now owned by the India-based Oyo chain, was put on the market for £1.5m in 2017.

According to the Boat Watch website, Mr Finnie was about 345 miles (555km) from Port Ghalib in SV Simba when he last made contact with his family.

Boat Watch said his transponder – a device used to broadcast the location of vessels – had last “pinged” on 25 October, when it was at Christmas Island.

“On 13 December 2019 at approximately 1400 hrs Eastern Time, was advised the SV SIMBA was overdue on a passage to Port Ghalib, located in Marsa Alam along the Southern Red Sea Coral Coast of Egypt, 67 kms south of Quseir City,” the website added.

Lost contact

In a post on Facebook, his wife appealed for anyone with information about the vessel to contact the family.

She said: “My husband, Colin Finnie was heading towards Port Ghalib in sailing boat Simba, a Nauticat 44.

“I lost contact with him last Saturday 7th when he was 300 [nautical] miles away from his destination. He was in storms and low on fuel.

“I have been in contact with Foreign Office and Coastguard and the Egyptian authorities are actively looking for him. I know it’s a long shot but I am trying everything. Sorry to post bad news.”

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man reported missing while sailing in the Red Sea and are in contact with Egyptian authorities.”


SV Simba, image via BBC

SV Simba, image via BBC

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