Days have passed since then, but the image doesn’t leave my mind. It has deeply ingrained itself in my memory, and I am sure the same happened in the collective memory of Hellenism and every person who saw it. The scene is so unbelievable that you wonder if it’s true and not some tasteless product of social media.
Did we see it correctly? Did this actually happen? And if yes, did it really happen in Greece, in the port of Piraeus?
On Tuesday, September 5th, at 8:30 PM, the captain of the ship named Blue Horizon that was traveling the Piraeus-Heraklion route had started the engines to depart.
Someone took a video that shows a man running to board the ship. As soon as he boards, he is confronted by crew members who push him to get him off.
However, he insists on getting on the ship. Then they push him harder, causing him to fall into the sea.
It was impossible for him to be saved, even though he was only a few meters away from the shore. The ship’s propellers devoured him.
His name is Antonis Karyotis, 36-years -old, and he was going home to Crete. He didn’t make it alive to his loved ones.
His murder has shaken all of us. No one expects something like this to happen anywhere, certainly not in Greece, the cradle of civilization.
The cruelty of the act is shocking. The inhumanity. The barbarity. The indifference to the fate of a fellow passenger is stunning.
Perhaps, to play devil’s advocate, I can say that maybe the crew members believed that when they pushed him, he would jump onto the pier. Perhaps they didn’t anticipate that he would drown.
But still, they couldn’t be certain of that, and they continued to push him until they succeeded in throwing him into the sea.
However, there is another equally barbaric, cowardly scene that unfolded: Even though the captain was informed of what happened, he didn’t immediately order the ship’s engines to be shut down. He didn’t instruct them to search for the man and, if possible, save him, or, at the very least, find his body.
Instead, they acted as if nothing had happened. The ship continued along its route as usual. It traveled for 42 whole minutes until the Coast Guard ordered the captain to return to the port of Piraeus.
Even a dog would have received more sympathy.
Greeks have been immigrants and sailors for a long time. We are honorable. Hospitable. Philanthropic. Civilized.
Such incidents do not represent us. They do not characterize us. This is not what we are.
So what is happening? Why so much anger? Why so much brutality? Where are we heading?”