Deadly “Samina” sinking haunts Greece 18 years later

In total, 81 people lost their lives in the accident

Express Samina was a French-built passenger ferry boat. It was built in 1966 and during its 34 years of service changed many owners as well as routes in the Mediterranean Sea.

It was September 26, 2000 when Express Samina, owned by Greece’s Minoan Flying Dolphins, left for its route between Paros, Naxos, Ikaria, Samos, Patmos and Lipsi islands in the Aegean Sea.

The ferry departed from the port of Piraeus with 533 people on board, 472 passengers, and 61 crew members.

Around 22:12 local time, Express Samina approached the port of Parikia of the island of Paros, with very strong winds of 8 Beaufort raging.

2 nautical miles off the port of Parikia, the ship hit the reef of Portes islets at a speed of 18 knots. A crack of about three meters in length opened in the right hull of the ship.

Water flooded the ship forcing it to quickly tilt to the right and eventually sink within just 25 minutes, leaving only a few minutes for the passengers to get prepared.

The first who reached the point to help were fishing boats from the nearby ports, followed by the port authorities and the British Royal Navy vessels, which were in the area carrying out a NATO exercise.

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