On Wednesday, a ferry captain and three crew members were charged with homicide in Greece’s main port of Piraeus. The charges stem from an event where a late passenger was forcibly pushed into the sea while attempting to board the departing vessel. The incident, which was caught on video and subsequently shared on social media, has sparked widespread outrage across the maritime nation.
The video shows the passenger rushing onto the loading ramp of the Blue Horizon ferry, which was still in place on the quay as the ship was preparing to depart. Despite his attempts to board, two crew members on the ramp halted his progress and physically moved him onto the quay.
When the passenger made a second attempt to board via the ramp, a crew member pushed him off the ramp as the ferry was leaving. The man disappeared into the widening gap between the ship and the quay. The crew seemingly made no effort to assist the man, and the ferry continued its journey towards the island of Crete before being ordered to return to Piraeus.
The Coast Guard later recovered the man from the harbor waters, unconscious. He was subsequently pronounced dead. An autopsy is currently being conducted to ascertain the exact cause of death.
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Greece’s Minister of Maritime Affairs, expressed his profound shock and sorrow over the incident in a social media post. He condemned the actions of the detained crew members as both criminally and morally reprehensible, labeling it as an affront to all Greek sailors. He unequivocally stated that the crime committed was murder.
Varvitsiotis revealed that the man had a ticket and had initially boarded the ship, but for reasons unknown, he disembarked and then attempted to reboard. The minister has ordered an investigation into the port police’s response to the incident.
In a separate post, Varvitsiotis assured that the Piraeus Port Authority is taking all necessary actions to clarify the case and assign responsibility. The Attica Group, owners of the Blue Horizon, issued a brief statement expressing their devastation over the tragic incident and pledged their cooperation with the authorities.
The ferry’s captain, first mate, and two additional crew members are scheduled to appear before a Piraeus prosecutor to be formally charged later on Wednesday.