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Two jailed pending trial in Greece over death of ship passenger - Shipping Minister resigns

 blue horizon accident

Two of the four crew members of the Blue Horizon ferry who were arrested for their involvement in the death of a passenger were jailed today, Monday, until their trial. In the meantime, the Greek Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis announced his resignation.

HDN Newsroom

This comes after the death of a 36-year old passenger who tried to board the ferry late only to be pushed violently into the sea by a crew member of the Blue Horizon ferry resulting to the young man's death by drowning.

The captain of the ship, who faces charges of dangerous interference with maritime traffic – a felony – was additionally charged with fatal exposure.

In his testimony, he allegedly maintained that he followed the regulations when he was informed that a man had fallen into the sea and alerted the Coast Guard.

The crew member who is accused of pushing the 36-year-old passenger into the sea and is facing charges of manslaughter with possible malice, allegedly took responsibility for what happened, but said he does not accept the “legal description” of the charge against him.

“He [the victim] stepped on the edge of the loading ramp. He and I slipped. He fell. I wanted to jump in and help, but the ship had already sailed away,” he allegedly stated in his testimony, adding that when he went to get a life jacket the man had already drowned.

The investigative magistrate and the prosecutor disagreed on whether or not to remand the remaining two crew members who are being prosecuted for complicity in the manslaughter and they were eventually released. The final decision rests with the Judicial Council.

In a video that went viral on social media showed the passenger running onto the ferry loading ramp, which was still down, and crew members stopping him and pushing him back three times.

The man fell into the sea, and despite passengers screaming that he was in the water, the ferry left as initially scheduled. Blue Horizon only interrupted its route when a prosecutor, alerted by the Coast Guard, ordered its return.

Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis announced his resignation on Monday, a few days after the death of a ferry passenger who was forcefully pushed off a ferry in Piraeus last week.

Government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis said Varvitsiotis will be replaced by Christos Stylianidis, who served as Climate Crisis and Civil Protection Minister in the previous government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis.