Following the tragic incident that resulted in the death of a 36-year-old passenger, Attica Group CEO Spiros Paschalis have announced his resignation as the CEO of the company on Thursday 7th September, 2023.
Outrage has continued to grow across Greece after the reports that crewmembers from an inter-island ferry pushed a late arriving passenger to his death on Tuesday 5th September night and did nothing to help the man when he fell into the harbour, astern of the ferry while she was leaving and still with the ramp opened. The repercussions from the incident are mounting both within the government and the shipping industry while four members of the ship’s crew were officially brought up on charges stemming from the altercation with the 36-year-old man.
Greece’s Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis responded to public pressure and the media offering further details while promising a full investigation. He confirmed earlier reports that the passenger had purchased a ticket and for unknown reasons had left the ship and then ran back as it was starting to depart and jumped onto the car ramp which was still down. He was pushed back by a crewmember, attempted to get aboard for a second time, and was pushed falling into the water as the ferry BLUE HORIZON casted off from her berth. The coroner said he drowned although reports are also saying there was a small contusion on his head possibly from hitting the dock or the ramp. Some passengers contend he was hit by the propellers.
Under pressure from the public, the government reportedly has been pressuring the shipping company to take greater responsibility. Attica Group, which owns Blue Star Ferries, made two statements apologizing to the family and friends while calling it an “unjust loss” and saying it happened in an “unimaginable way.”
Wednesday, protestors in the Iraklion port in Crete gathered with the newspapers saying the crowd was blocking the ship’s departure and yelling “murders” at the crew of the ferry. The vessel’s departure was delayed according to the report by five hours.
Meanwhile today, Saturday 9th September it was reported that 4 crew members of the ferry charged with the death of 36 year old passenger Antonis Karyotis were given time until Sunday morning to testify after appearing before a prosecutor in Piraeus on Saturday. The 4 crew members including the captain of the ship are accused of pushing Antonis off the ship’s boarding ramp shortly before departing for Crete on Tuesday night, causing his drowning.
Three of them appeared before the prosecutor to receive a date for testifying, while the fourth (first mate) who is in hospital will testify before a prosecutor there. Defendants’ lawyers said the testimonies, originally scheduled for Saturday, had to be postponed because new evidence was included in the case files.
All images of BLUE HORIZON are whilst entering Grand Harbour, Malta bound to Palumbo Malta Shipyard back to January 2017.