Greece: "almost 60" die in ferry disaster : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Gale-force winds are continuing to hamper efforts to rescue survivors from a Greek night ferry which sank in the Aegean Sea. The Greek authorities say nearly 60 people, including children, are now known to have died in the disaster which took place about three kilometres (two miles) off the resort island of Paros.

UK emergency telephone helpline 020 7839 1010

Of about 530 passengers and crew aboard the Express Samina - which went down in heavy seas after hitting clearly-marked rocks off the island - 471 have been rescued.

The Greek Government has announced an investigation into the tragedy alleging "criminal negligence".

Five of the ship's officers, including the captain, Vassilis Yannakis, have been detained.

A huge rescue operation has been launched, with army helicopters flying out of Athens airport all morning.

-- Jim McAteer (, September 27, 2000


I heard a report on National Public Radio this morning that quoted Greek authorities as saying that crew members admitted the captain and others basically deserted the bridge of the order to watch a soccer match on TV. The implication was that their inattention to a well marked navigation hazard led to the sinking.

Other reports have noted that the actual number of passengers aboard remains unclear, in part because people could buy tickets after boarding and because young children did not need tickets at all.

So (if the claim about the crew is true) upwards of 100 people, including many children, died due to simple gross negligence by the officers of this crowded ferry. A reminder that, for safe use, all technology ultimately depends on intelligent attentive users.

-- Andre Weltman (, September 28, 2000.

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