The Salem Express was a passenger ship that sank in the Red Sea. It is controversial due to the tragic loss of life which occurred when she sank shortly after midnight on December 17, 1991.
The Salem Express was a roll on, roll off car & passenger ferry that operated between the ports of Safaga (in Egypt) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). On one such return journey from Jeddah, she sank after colliding with Hyndman Reef in the early hours of 17 December 1991. The impact with the reef both holed the bows and caused the bow visor to be forced open. She very quickly took on water and sank, on her starboard side within minutes. Loss of life was considerable, with the official figure being quoted as 470. Rumour suggests that there were many more on board, however this is debatable as official records list the number of passengers and crew as 690.
Many bodies were recovered after the sinking, but eventually a halt was called due to the danger involved and the wreck was sealed with plates welded across openings.