Search teams sift through wreckage as holidaymakers return to the beaches

As the beaches came to life in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh yesterday, search and recovery teams were already out on the water for the second day from first light, pulling up the remains of Egypt's worst plane crash since 1999.

Seaside hedonism, however, continued to pulse in this huddle of luxury resorts perched on the edge of Sinai's beautiful desert mountain range. This is the high season for European holidaymakers and Sharm's beaches are crowded with bronzed and bikini-clad tourists. By noon, music was pumping loudly while sunbathers set out on paddle boats, drifting past the boats reserved for local officials being carried to the site of Saturday's crash.

Some four miles offshore, near the hulk of Tiran Island, helicopters hovered over the floating wreckage while search teams pulled up "every single thing", according to Samy Hamdy, director of Sharm el-Sheikh's Search and Rescue Centre. Along with fragments of aircraft debris, personal belongings - bags, wallets, some passports - have also been recovered. Human remains, so far only body parts, are being collected at the hospital morgue.

Among the officials being taken to the crash site from Na'ama Bay were the South Sinai governor, Mustafa Afifi, the Egyptian Aviation Minister Ahmed Shafiq and the French Deputy Foreign Minister, Renaud Muselier.

M. Muselier, his face grim, was joined by local officials when he tossed a wreath of flowers wrapped in the French flag into the waters near the site.

The Search and Rescue Centre has been co-ordinating efforts to further pinpoint the location of the plane, which crashed into water 1,100 metres deep, making it impossible to dive. The debris was spread over an area two to three kilometres long and 500 metres wide. Search teams uncovered the pilot's wallet yesterday and Mr Hamdy noted that this means the cabin was destroyed, which will make the search for the crucial black box more difficult.

Initial reports suggested that sharks were hampering efforts to find passengers' remains. Mr Hamdy denied this. "We have not encountered a single fish," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests