NEWS

‘Negligence’ in Samina sinking

The Shipping Accidents Investigation Council (ASNA) has ruled that officers and crew members of the Express Samina that sank in the Aegean three years ago killing 80 people are guilty of charges of extreme negligence. The passenger ferry struck rocks as it approached the island of Paros on the night of September 26, 2000, took on water and sank within half an hour. The council, whose members met last Thursday, ruled that the crew was disorganized and inadequately trained to deal with emergencies. However, in contrast to a recent Aegean appeals court ruling, the majority of the council did not attribute responsibility to representatives of the owners, Minoan Flying Dolphins, now renamed Hellas Flying Dolphins. According to sources, the ASNA president disagreed with the other four members on this point. ASNA found that First Mate Anastasios Psychoyios, who was on bridge duty at the time of the accident, had not been in control of the ship in accordance with regulations. It found that the captain, Vassilis Yiannakis, had not reacted fast enough based on his knowledge and experience of the specific ship, after becoming aware of the situation. It also found him responsible for not ensuring that the crew were trained in dealing with orders to abandon ship. Second Mate Giorgos Triantafyllou was found guilty of negligence by failing to ensure that the flood control doors were secured before the ship sailed and for not making lifesaving gear available in time. Also according to ASNA, First Engineer Gerasimos Skiadaresis should have isolated the main engine room as soon as he realized what had happened and informed the bridge. The judicial investigation into the sinking is separate.