NEWS

Diver describes rescue efforts at the scene of fatal Aegina boat collision

Testimonies continued this week as part of an investigation to determine what caused a collision between a speedboat and a pleasure boat for tourists off the Saronic island of Aegina that killed four people, including a 5-year-old girl, on August 16.

A professional diver who arrived on the scene of the accident shortly after the incident testified that an acquaintance who also knew the speedboat’s captain asked him to go with him in his boat to help the skipper after the accident. The diver described that upon arrival he saw two boats taking part in the rescue efforts, two corpses in the sea and debris. He also stated that he helped to get people out of the water. He said the speedboat was adrift about 80 to 100 meters away, with four elderly people on board, including the 77-year-old captain. All four appeared to be in a state of panic and were asking for help, the diver said. He escorted them to the port of Perdika and returned to the scene to help tug the speedboat to shore.

Another witness, a passenger on the pleasure boat who fell into the sea following the accident, testified he told the speedboat’s captain to throw safety jackets to those in the sea. The captain has alleged that the speedboat was adrift and that the strong winds did not allow for such action. A Piraeus court was expected to decide Wednesday whether or not the 77-year-old, who has been under house arrest, would be remanded in custody.

A group of 33 New Democracy MPs have prepared a question for Shipping Minister Theodoros Dritsas regarding the coast guard’s reaction to the accident.

The crash also left four people injured, including a 29-year-old woman whose leg was partially severed. According to witnesses, the pleasure boat sank very quickly after the collision.

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