Ferry Boat Goes Aground Off Santorini

A ferry boat approaching the popular resort island of Santorini island in the Aegean Sea early on May 3 ran aground but eventually made it to port after other ships stood by ready to rescue passengers if needed, the Greek Coast Guard said.

There was no flooding of the Prevelis but the passengers, wearing life jackets, were moved to the deck for precautionary reasons, unlike those of a South Korea ferry which sank last month with great loss of life because the passengers had been told to stay in their cabins.

A Coast Guard vessel and a small passenger ship approached the boat off the rocky islet Aspronisi and did other vessels from the island. The accident might have been caused by a loss of power, according to preliminary reports. Divers checked the extent of damage before it sailed to the port.

The passenger ship sailed from the port of Piraeus at 6 p.m. the night before on a scheduled route that would take the boat to Milos, Santorini, Anafi, Heraklion, Sitia, Kasos, Karpathos, Diafani, Halki and Rhodes. Besides the passengers, there were also 32 trucks, 19 cars, two buses and six motorcycles also on board.

Seven years ago, the cruise ship Sea Diamond also ran aground off Santorini and sank, killing two French passengers.  Jean Christophe Allain, 45, and his daughter Maud, 16, whose bodies were never found.