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Society

Greek Prosecutor Urges Trial Over Death of Man Pushed Off Ferry Boat

ATHENS – The captain and three crew members of a Blue Horizon ferry boat charged in the death of a passenger pushed off the back of a ship in September, 2023 should be tried, a Piraeus prosecutor said.

Antonis Karyotis, 36, drowned in the swirling wake of the ship as it left port, pushed off a ramp he had jumped on to in an attempt to reboard the vessel as it was pulling away.

State broadcaster ERT said the man who pushed him and the others face charges of intentional homicide and abuse of power and the Captain for dangerous intervention in ship transport resulting in death and attempted drowning by omission.

The Lieutenant on the boat was seen on video pushing Karyotis off as the passenger tried to come up the ramp. The crew member was heard on audio telling the captain “I thought he was black, Pakistani.”

But Karyotis had a ticket and had gotten off the ferry heading for Crete for some reason before rushing back as it was leaving and jumped onto a boat ramp not pulled back up yet.

That was in violation of regulations as was the Coast Guard not having an officer there for the departure, media reports said, with the crew member and Captain detained over the incident that shocked the country.

The voice recordings were released by broadcaster MEGA without saying what the source was or if the discussion was on the bridge or somewhere else on the vessel operated by Blue Horizon.

In the audio, Karyotis – who other media reports indicated had a disturbed state and took the ferry frequently – is referred to as a “fool” by the crew in mocking terms, the comments also seen as racist.

“I thought he didn’t have a ticket. I thought he was black, Pakistani, because he was out there walking around. But he didn’t show us any ticket. All he said to me was ‘I will travel,’” the crew member who pushed him is heard saying.

The two called the victim “m@@@@α crazy”, while the Captain instructed the Lieutenant not to say much about what happened although the ship traveled some 45 minutes before the Coast Guard ordered it to turn around.

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