NEL’s ‘Theofilos’ overnight ferry to Mytilini, Lesbos has run aground near Inousses with 478 passengers on board. At this time, there are no reported injuries, but helicopters, boats and planes have been sent to the scene as a precautionary measure.
Timing of this incident comes on the heels of a heated debate between ferry operators claiming a 70 percent increase in expenses due to rising fuel costs and the Ministry calling for restraint to stave off a decease in tourism. It is also dangerously close to the beginning of high season. Only Minoan and Blue Star said they would keep prices stable until the end of summer 2008 or cut fares, but the majority of carriers have raised ticket prices by 10-33 percent.
Louis Cruises’ Sea Diamond that sank off the coast of Santorini on April 5, 2007 has still not been recovered and salvaged, despite the protests of environmental groups. Stricter legislation on maintenance and aging ferries to insure the safety of passengers after the Express Samina killed 78 in 2000, in addition to a number of other accidents that same year, was eased in 2006.
* Note: Everyone was safe, but obviously someone took a shortcut (as cretan runner says in his comment) and didn’t consult a map to understand it wouldn’t work. It was a narrow pass, and there was a reef. “Crew gives different accounts”
Other accidents at sea in Greece
“Two ferryboats collide in Andros” (link broken) — July 23, 2008
“Passenger ferry hits reef in Kythera”
“Two cruise ships collide in Piraeus”
“Crystal cruise ship rams Lissos ferry”
“Smashed window injures passenger on Greek hydrofoil”
“Problem with Flying Cat sends 110 passengers to transfer 2-3 times over 24 hours”
“Pleasure boat to Spetses sinks”
“Prevelis rams Despotiko islet off of Karpathos” – Sept 6, 2009
Photo from AP