Catamaran was going too fast

A high speed ferry that became stranded in the mid-Aegean with 166 passengers on board after taking on water on Thursday night had been traveling too fast in view of the unfavorable weather conditions, the government said yesterday. Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Anomeritis told a press conference that ministry experts who investigated the Jet I catamaran on the island of Santorini found that high waves had smashed through a starboard deck door, sending water into the vessel’s starboard hull. Seawater also entered the bridge through ventilation shafts, wiping out the ferry’s electronics. But the ship did not sink, as the flooded hull compartment was separated from neighboring sections with watertight seals. The ferry, which was heading from Santorini to Iraklion on Crete, had been going at 28 knots in 3.5-meter-high waves at the time of the accident, some 25 miles out of port. Ministry inspectors said the ship should have been going no more than 22 knots in such weather. They confirmed that apart from the large cracks above the plimsoll line to the starboard fore, the catamaran had not been leaking below the waterline. All passengers were evacuated uninjured from the vessel.

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