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Passenger Dead After Being Pushed to the Sea by Ferry Crew at Piraeus Port

Piraeus Ferry
Piraeus is Europe’s biggest passenger port. Credit:  MsK_ ,  CC BY 2.0.

A passenger who attempted to board a departing ferry at Piraeus died after crew members apparently pushed him off the vehicle rump on Tuesday evening.

The incident occurred as the Blue Horizon ferry was about to depart on the route from Piraeus to Heraklion, Crete.

In videos posted on social media, the Blue Horizon crew can be seen pushing 36-year-old Antonis Kariotis off the ferry’s vehicle rump to the sea. The man appears to fall between the ramp and the pier.

The body of Kariotis, who was living in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, was found a little later.

It is not known whether Kariotis did not possess a ticket for the ferry or was too late boarding as the ship was ready to depart. However, tickets can be issued after the ship’s departure.

In a separate video, Kariotis can be seen being sucked below the foaming water due to the power of the ferry’s propellers. It is not known whether the victim hit his head as a result of falling from the ferry.

The captain and crew members of the ferry were arrested in Piraeus

The ferry departed Piraeus port but soon after it was called back by authorities. The captain and three crew members were arrested.

All four are expected to be brought to the Piraeus prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.

The ship owner company Attica Group issued an announcement about the incident. “The Management of Attica Group, shocked by the tragic incident that took place in the port of Piraeus, declares that it is cooperating with every competent authority for the complete clarification of the incident.”

Attica Group is the parent company of the Superfast Ferries fleet, the Blue Star Ferries fleet and the Hellenic Seaways fleet. The the Blue Horizon ferry has a passenger capacity of 1,488 and can carry 780 vehicles.

Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said that a full inquiry into the incident will take place while expressing his sadness for the loss of life.

The Port of Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe and one of the largest passenger ports in the world. It has a total quay length of 2.8 km and a draft of up to 11 m.

From the beginning of June until August 31, 2023 more than 3 million passengers traveled through Piraeus marking a 5 percent increase compared to the same period in 2022.

Terminal A is the main terminal and is open 24 hours. It is within walking distance of the center of the Municipality of Piraeus. It can handle 1,200 passengers an hour. Two medium-sized ships can check in simultaneously.

Terminal B was built in 2013 which can handle mega cruise ships, with a draft up to 11 meters.

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