Sea Diamond captain testifies

While the captain of the sunken Sea Diamond cruise ship testified before a senior Port Authority official yesterday, authorities and locals on Santorini complained about an alleged lack of planning for the environmental cleanup off the island’s coast, where the vessel foundered earlier this month. The Sea Diamond’s captain, Yiannis Marinos, testified for over 10 hours about his actions prior to the sinking of the vessel off Santorini on April 5. Sources told Kathimerini that Marinos responded to dozens of technical questions regarding the course of the vessel, the actions taken by crew members and the condition of the ship. Marinos’s responses to the questions were not made public. More crew members are to testify in due course. In a related development, the Panhellenic Union of Navigating Officers yesterday sent a memorandum to Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis, claiming that the Sea Diamond would not have sunk if there had been a navigating officer aboard. Meanwhile on Santorini, local authorities and residents complained that no plan had been drafted for removing hundreds of tons of fuel from the sunken ship. Oia’s community president, Giorgos Halaris, told Kathimerini that he had been promised a plan by the ministry but had allegedly received nothing. A group of Oia residents are preparing a petition to demand the immediate siphoning of the vessel’s fuel tanks. Experts yesterday told Kathimerini that fuel was leaking out of the sunken cruise ship slowly but steadily.

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