On Friday 18th February, 2022 around 0224 UTC the 1995 built ropax EUROFERRY OLYMPIA with 239 passengers and 51 crew members while she was on her way to Brindisi Port from the Greek city of Igoumenitsa fire broke out near the island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea. near the island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea.
All passengers and crew members were believed to have disembarked safely at the port in Corfu by mid-day although authorities were still looking for two people trapped in the garage part of the ship, according to a Greek press agency. Only one person, a 42-year-old crew member, has so far been reported injured and been transferred to nearby Corfu by a coastguard patrol boat before being hospitalised “as a precaution”, the director of the Corfu hospital, Leonidas Roumbatis, has confirmed.
A Super Puma helicopter had attempted several times to approach the ropax EUROFERRY OLYMPIA enroute to Brindisi, when the fire broke out . State-run TV described the pair – a Bulgarian and a Turk – as lorry drivers trapped in the ship’s garage. “Efforts are being made to lead them to the deck,” a Greek coastguard official told reporters, adding that the helicopter was waiting to airlift them away. Four lifeboats carrying an estimated 279 people had meanwhile headed for the Ionian island of Corfu, where authorities were hoping to match arrivals with the passenger list assembled by crew.
The Hellenic coastguards stated in a press release – https://www.hcg.gr/el/drasthriothtes/ekdhlwsh-pyrkagias-se-eg-og-ploio-sthn-n-ereikoysa/ that it dispatched four patrol boats, which were assisted by two tug boats, five other boats including one from the Italian Police and two private fishing vessels, as well as three helicopters.
The cause of the fire is not yet known and an investigation has begun. A passenger said that they “were sleeping when we were alerted that there was a fire.” “We got dressed in a second and went on deck where we were given life jackets,” the truck driver said. On the bridge, “it was panic, there was a lot of smoke coming out of the garage, the atmosphere was suffocating,” he added.
The ferry’s captain immediately asked the passengers to leave the boat, while patrol boats, coastguard tugs and firefighters were dispatched from Corfu, a statement said.
Images of EUROFERRY OLYMPIA entering Porto di Catania back to 11th May, 2018.
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Published – Friday 18th February, 2022.