No return of Aegean Wind sailors’ bodies

The families of the three Greek sailors who died in a fire on board the Aegean Wind cargo ship off Venezuela last week have been unable to recover the seamen’s bodies because authorities in the Dutch Antilles, where the vessel has been towed to, are refusing to release them. It emerged yesterday that judicial officials on the island would not allow the bodies of any of the nine sailors (three Greeks and six Filipinos) to be flown or shipped home. Dutch Antilles officials said the bodies are decomposing and cannot be transported. They gave the families 48 hours to travel to the island to attend a cremation service. Economy, Competitiveness and Merchant Marine Minister Louka Katseli and the Greek Foreign Ministry made repeated appeals to the island’s authorities to reconsider their position.

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