It was 26 September of 2000 when the ship Express Samina departs from Piraeus with 533 passengers and 61 crew members with destinations in Paros, Naxos, Ikaria, Samos, Patmos and Lipsi. This would be his last and fatal journey, which has never been accomplished. Shortly after 10.00am the ship tries to approach the port of Parikia in Paros, with winds of 8 beaufort.
Two miles before arriving at Paros, it strikes at 18 knots at the islets “Doors”, the ship cracked on its right hull, about three meters long, at the base of the right wing. The water floods the ship’s engine room, which quickly slopes to the right and sinks after 25 minutes. In this day 81 people lost their life.
What happened after cracking?
A great panic raided the occupants due to the blackout caused by the electrical failure, as neither the emergency generator nor the emergency siren operated, and there was no briefing from the portable loudspeakers of the ship, resulting in many to jump in blindly at sea.
The Port Authority of Paros orders all the other ships to rush to the ship’s site, with the first arriving at the wreck of the fishermen, and then cruising Port and British warships that participated in the NATO exercise. The fishermen were the heroes of the evening, since with superhuman efforts they saved many of the shipwrecked people, but they were unable to save them all.
From this day passed 18 years and as we have our heart in one of the most beautiful Greek Island, we cannot forget. We cannot forget our people that die, we cannot forget the suddenly hear of breafing news in TV about the ship. we can not forget the agony that peaked a second by a second through the media reports.
In the beginning, they have not been reported dead, while there is no worry in the Ministry of Merchant Marine (MSM) business chamber, since they believed that everyone could be saved because they were within walking distance of the island. However, the passengers on the ship who communicate through mobile phones with TV stations gave a different picture. What really happened in that place understanded when the ships arrive at the place of the shipwreck in order to help in rescue.
They face the panic and the death. The harbor guard of Paros died also that day from stress and pressure.Part of the survivors were transferred to the Health Center of Paros. Shortly afterwards, the president of the company, Pantelis Sfinias, belonging to Samina ended his life in November of the same year.
In 2005, the captains, commander, chief officer, chief engineer and shipmaster, were sentenced to the penalty, while the chief executive officer and the chairman were convicted of the ship.
The victims remind us our dept to contest for safer and more modern ships in the Aegean sea. We hope never again to live something like that.