Prestige Greek captain protests his innocence

The Atlantic storm that crippled the Prestige tanker off Spain on November 13, leading to the vessel’s sinking six days later, was the worst in his 44 years at sea, the ship’s imprisoned Greek captain was quoted as saying by the Merchant Marine Ministry yesterday. Last week, two ministry officials visited Captain Apostolos Mangouras, 67, in the La Coruna prison where he has been held since November 17. A ministry statement yesterday said Mangouras feels his arrest «does not comply with his status as a shipwrecked sailor.» The captain, the ministry said, «feels he did his duty and dissociates himself from the maneuvers that led to the ecological disaster.» It said Spanish officials will rule next month on an appeal for Mangouras’s 3-million-euro bail to be reduced. Next week, Greece will announce its maritime safety priorities as holder of the rotating EU presidency.

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