Hopes fade for eight sailors missing after fatal collision off Peloponnese coast

Hopes of finding the eight missing sailors from a cargo ship that sank southeast of the Peloponnese on Monday after colliding with another vessel faded on Wednesday, as authorities readied themselves for possible sea contamination.

The Cook Island-flagged Pirireis sank with 17 crew members on board. Seven were rescued immediately and the bodies of another two sailors were discovered soon afterward. Searches for the remaining eight had proved fruitless yesterday evening.

The Pirireis collided with the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged Consouth, which has now docked at Kalamata port and is awaiting inspection. None of its 16-member crew was injured in the accident, which is being investigated.

The Pirireis was carrying 12,500 tons of fertilizer, 145 tons of fuel oil and 67 tons of diesel. Coast guard helicopters did not detect any signs of pollution yesterday but their colleagues in Kalamata, Hania, Pylos, Katakolo and Zakynthos had been placed on alert.