Greek authorities announced that the wreckage of 'Express Samina', a passenger ferry involved in an accident almost two decades ago, will be raised from the seabed off the island of Paros.
MS Express Samina (Εξπρές Σαμίνα) was a French-built RoPax ferry that collided with a rock off the coast of Paros island in the central Aegean Sea on 26 September 2000. The accident resulted in 81 deaths and the loss of the ship. The cause of the accident was crew negligence, for which several members were found criminally liable.
The decision to lift the sunken vessel was decided following a meeting between Greece's Shipping and Island Policy Minister, Ioannis Plakiotakis and Mayor of Paros, Marko Kovaio.
Plakiotakis said that the sunken vessel continues to leak fuel after nearly 20 years and some showed up on Paros last month.
"We had a useful and constructive discussion with the mayor of Paros, on an issue that plagues and concerns the local community and concerns the marine environment of the island for the last 20 years. It was decided to take immediate action to protect the marine environment in the first place, while at the same time the procedures for the lifting of the shipwreck of 'Express Samina' will start immediately," Plakiotakis stated.
He did not say when the operation would take place, however it is expected to be very soon to protect the marine environment.
According to local news website parianostypos, the Municipality of Paros has already drawn up a comprehensive and detailed plan to lift the vessel.