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On September 5, 2023, a tragic overboard incident occurred as the ship Blue Horizon was departing from the dock in Port Piraeus/Athens. A 36-year-old man, Antonis Kariotis, a resident of Agios Nikolaos, Crete, fell off the boarding ramp and into the waters, located between the vessel and the quay.
Details of the Incident
It was soon revealed that Antonis Kariotis had been attempting to board the ship as his family was already on board. Tragically, his body was discovered shortly after the fall.
Initially, there was speculation that he lacked a ferry ticket, although it is worth noting that tickets can be issued on the ship or after departure. Subsequently, it was disclosed that the deceased had initially purchased a ticket, boarded the Blue Horizon, but, for reasons unknown, disembarked and then attempted to reboard. His family indicated that Antonis Kariotis was autistic, adding complexity to this heartbreaking event.
On September 6th, videos shared on Greek media and social platforms depicted the man being pushed by security guards off the ship as he tried to run onto the ramp while the vessel was departing the quay. One video showed his body being drawn underwater by the ship’s propellers, raising concerns about a potential head injury sustained during the fall.
Following this tragic incident, the authorities took action. The Blue Horizon, operated by Attica Group, was ordered to return to Piraeus and arrived back at 19:35 UTC, as per AIS data. Subsequently, the Captain and three crew members involved in the incident were arrested and charged with manslaughter.
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Greece’s Shipping Minister and the son of former Minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis, ordered a comprehensive investigation into the incident.