Ferry passenger dies after being pushed into sea by crew

Passenger pushed back as he tries to board Greek ferry

Source: Twitter

A Greek ferry captain and three of his crew have been charged after a shocking incident in which a passenger was pushed into the sea as he rushed to board the vessel.

The man, later named as 36-year-old Andonis Kargiotis, fell into the ocean and drowned.

Footage of the incident in Greece’s main port of Piraeus late on Tuesday (local time), has been shared widely online.

It shows Mr Kargiotis running on to the Blue Horizon ferry’s loading ramp. It was still down and in place on the quay, although the ship had cast off and was about to depart.

Mr Kargiotis tries to push past two crew members on the ramp. But they stop him and push him back to the quay.

He steps again onto the ramp, and is pushed back for a second time by a crew member. As the ferry sails away, Mr Kargiotis vanishes into the gap between the ship and the jetty, into water being churned by the ferry’s engines.

The footage shows the crew apparently doing nothing to help. The ferry continued sailing towards the island of Crete before being ordered back to Piraeus.

Greece’s minister for merchant marine, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, has expressed “shock, horror and sorrow” after the incident sparked anger across the nation.

State-run ERT television reported on Wednesday that one crew member had been charged with homicide with possible intent, and the other two with complicity. The ship’s captain faces charges of charged with severe breaches of shipping regulations.

Greece’s coastguard said later that Mr Kargiotis had been recovered unconscious from the water. He was later pronounced dead, with an autopsy ruling his death was by drowning.

Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, took to social media on Wednesday to lash out at what he called “a combination of irresponsible behavior and cynicism, contempt and indifference” that led to Mr Kargiotis’s death.

“Yesterday’s shameful incident is not indicative of the kind of country we want,” he said.

Mr Mitsotakis said Mr Kargiotis had a ticket for the ferry and had boarded earlier before leaving for reasons that were unclear. He then tried to reboard, and join his waiting family.

Mr Varvitsiotis said he had ordered an investigation into the port police’s response to the incident.

Attica Group, which owns the Blue Horizon, initially issued a brief statement saying it was “devastated by the tragic incident” and would cooperate with the authorities.

Later it followed up with a longer statement expressing sorrow for Mr Kargiotis’s death and pledging to investigate the “unthinkable” incident.

-with agencies

Topics: Greece
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