Ferry rescue ends with 10 dead, many more unaccounted for

All passengers and crew were evacuated from the stranded Norman Atlantic ferry on Monday, as 10 deaths were confirmed, but rescue teams continued searching in the Adriatic Sea amid concern that dozens of people who were on board the ship may be missing.

According to Italian authorities, 427 people were rescued from the ship but many of their names did not appear on the ferry’s manifest. Also, the vessel was meant to be carrying 422 passengers and 56 crew members, suggesting that once the 10 fatalities are included 41 people were unaccounted for.

Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, an Italian naval commander, said it was possible others had fallen in the water when lifeboats were initially deployed.

Of those rescued, 234 were Greek, 54 Turkish, 22 Albanians and 22 Italians, said Italian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi, who could not clarify if any more people were missing. There were also 34 Greeks among the crew. The Italian captain, Argilio Giacomazzi, was the last person to leave the vessel.

“It is up to the departure port to match up their list and the people [rescued],” Lupi said. “That is why we are continuing our [search] effort: We cannot know what the exact number was.”

Italian and Albanian magistrates ordered that the ship be seized in order to investigate the cause of the fire and magistrates in both countries are deciding together where the vessel should be towed, Italy’s Transport Ministry said in a statement.

The Italian-flagged ferry, chartered by Greek ferry operator ANEK Lines, was sailing from Patra in western Greece to Ancona in Italy via the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa.