Latecomer for ferry departure falls to death in scuffle with crew

A late arrival passenger on passenger / vehicle RoRo Blue Horizon (IMO 8616336) died after a scuffle with crew members who attempted to stop him boarding via the vehicle entrance just as the ship was leaving the quayside at Piraeus, which is Greece’s largest passenger port.

In an incident which was caught on video, the passenger runs onto the entrance ramp but is pushed back more than once by crew members. The final time this happens the ramp has pulled away from the quay, creating a gap between the ship and the quayside. The man falls into the water. He died as a result. For unknown reasons the ferry did not stop, but continued on its journey. Within 50 minutes it had been instructed by a local prosecutor to turn back.

The ferry company, Attica Group, issued a statement saying that it was “shocked by the tragic incident”.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Piraeus was reported to have ordered the arrest of the deck officer and the captain of the vessel.

Froso Tetrandonaki, a passenger on the passenger/vehicle RoRo Elyros (IMO 9178599) who was on the deck of the ship at the time of the incident, told News website that “many people were on the Elyros deck for a smoke and witnessed the incident clearly”. She said that she saw the crew members of the Blue Horizon pushing the man into the sea. “They pushed him three or four times before the ship’s gangway was raised,” Tetrandonaki said, adding that after about 10 minutes she saw the man’s lifeless body floating in the water. “At that moment, I called the Coast Guard and made an anonymous report about the incident. ‘They pushed the man into the sea, and he drowned. They killed him,’ were the words I conveyed to the authorities,” she said.

Vasilis Mikropoulos, another passenger on the Elyros, said that “we saw everything clearly. We were at a distance of 50 meters. They were pushing him and telling him to leave”.

Attica Group said that “the management of the Attica Group, deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred at the Port of Piraeus, declares that it is cooperating with all competent authorities for a thorough clarification of the matter.”

Minister of Shipping Miltiadis Varvitsiotis in an online post said that “I express my sorrow for the tragic incident at the port of Piraeus, where a person lost his life. The Port Authority of Piraeus is taking all necessary actions to investigate the case and assign responsibility.”

1987-built, Greece-flagged, 27,230 gt Blue Horizon is owned and managed by Blue Star Ferries of Athens, Greece. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Blue Star Ferries Single Member Maritime. Gard is claims leader for Hull on behalf of Blue Star Ferries Single Member Maritime. As of September 6th the vessel was underway at Heraclio, Greece, having just arrived from Piraeus.

1998-built, Greece-flagged, 33,635 gt Elyros is owned and managed by Anek Lines SA of Chania, Greece. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Anonimi Naftiliaki Eteria Kritis A.E. As of September 6th the vessel was moored at Souda, Greece.

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