Greek Crusie Accident
Greek Cruise Accident Injury Lawsuits
Greek Cruise Accident | Lawsuits, Lawyers | Injury, Death | International Shipping Safety Regulations Violations, Polluting Environment, Sinks, Insufficient Safety Equipment
The captain of a cruise ship that sank off an Aegean Sea island, sending more than 1,500 passengers and crew onto rescue boats, was charged on April 7, 2007 with causing a shipwreck through negligence. The 469-foot Sea Diamond cruise ship sank into the sea after hitting a well-marked and charted reef in fair weather, inside the Greek island of Santorini. The ship's captain has blamed Thursday's accident on sea currents that swept the Sea Diamond onto a charted reef off the island of Santorini, tearing a hole in the ship's hull.
Additionally, the ship's Greek captain was also charged with violating international shipping safety regulations and polluting the environment, a Merchant Marine Ministry spokeswoman said. Five other officers were questioned, but the spokeswoman was unable to confirm a state TV report that they also had been charged. The ship was minutes away from docking under the spectacular cliffs that make Santorini one of Greece's top tourist destinations. The ship was carrying 1,154 tourists, most from the U.S., and 391 hundred-crew members. Dozens of American high school students were among the passengers.
Many passengers complained of an insufficient supply of life vests and lifeboats, little guidance from crew-members and being forced into a steep climb down rope ladders to safety. One passenger said she and her friends clung to the deck railing as the ship started sinking. "It was the most horrifying experience in the world. There weren't enough life boats," said, the 18-year-old from Boca Raton, Fla., who returned home on April 7, 2007. "We had to walk a plank from the ship to a ferry boat." Passengers said water quickly filled the bottom floors and spilled from the pools. Several people had broken arms, and many passengers didn't even have time to put on shoes after crewmembers started banging on doors yelling for people to put on their life jackets.
A spokesman for the ship's Cyprus-based operator, Louis Cruise Lines, said the company was working closely with Greek investigators.
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