NEWS

Probe into Aegina boat crash that killed two brothers

TAGS: Sailing

A probe was launched Wednesday into a collision between a fishing boat and a water tanker vessel off the Saronic island of Aegina earlier in the day that left two brothers dead.

The two fishermen, aged 62 and 74, drowned after their boat, the Panagiotis, capsized and sank following the collision which occurred 2.5 nautical miles off the island’s coast at around 7.30 a.m. amid fair and calm conditions.

The bodies of the two victims were recovered by the crew of the tanker, the Aegina, according to sources, and the latter’s captain and another crew member were detained for questioning in connection with the tragedy.

Meanwhile members of the Greek Coast Guard’s special underwater demolition team were dispatched to the scene to determine what might have caused the crash.

The Aegina struck the Panagiotis on the right-hand side of the stern, according to sources who said the fishing boat sank within 5 minutes of the impact.

Both vessels sought to avert the collision at the last minute, but to no avail, the same sources indicated.

The island’s mayor, Dimitris Mourtzis, expressed shock at the accident in comments to Kathimerini. “The weather wasn’t bad, visibility was good. I don’t know what went wrong,” he said. “Perhaps it was a case of miscalculation.”

“I’m shocked,” he added. "The two brothers loved the sea. They were hardworking people, fishermen since they were young.”

The incident came less than a year after four people including a 9-year-old child, were killed in a collision between a speedboat and a tourist vessel off the same island.

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