Greek ferry Hellenic Spirit hits another ferry and a tanker during arrival in Patra


Greek ferry Hellenic Spirit struck the ro/ro ferry Superfast II and the product tanker Aegean Tiffany during its arrival at the port city of Patra on Saturday, reports the maritime executive media outlet.

The accident was attributed to heavy weather that hit Greece and the Aegean over the weekend disrupted shipping, forcing many ships to change their schedules or divert, and at least one major casualty - the sinking of the cargo ship Raptor off the Greek island of Lesvos on the weekend.

The Hellenic Spirit, which was carrying 128 passengers aboard along with 116 vehicles suffered minor damage from the incident with no injuries reported.

According to Maritime Executive news Greek maritime authorities are beginning to investigate the circumstances surrounding the loss of the freighter Raptor, which went down Sunday off Lesvos. The vessel had a history of serious deficiencies, including hull penetrations caused by corrosion, and it was under way in the Aegean when it was caught by a storm. The Raptor sank shortly after making a distress call.

Only one crew member, the chief engineer, was rescued from the water. He told Greek authorities that the vessel had been in distress for a day before the call was made, and the crew had been attempting to bail out flooding.

"We were trying with buckets, and whatever other means we had on board, to get the water out, to empty it. At some point, the boat punctured, began to take a dangerous slope and then I jumped into the sea. Then I saw another 4-5 people jumping into the water and from then on I never saw them again," the engineer told Greek outlet Ta Nea.

The Greek Coast Guard suspects that the Raptor may have been involved in smuggling or another form of illicit activity. A previous inspection uncovered serious material deficiencies aboard the ship, but also revealed that the vessel had a history of meeting up with other ships under way - an unusual behavior for a bulker.

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