Moment late ferry passenger 'pushed to his death' as he tries to board departing ship

6 September 2023, 17:25 | Updated: 6 September 2023, 17:54

The moment a man appears to fall to his death from a ferry
The moment a man appears to fall to his death from a ferry. Picture: Twitter

By Kit Heren

This is the shocking moment a ferry passenger who was running late fell to his death in an apparent confrontation with crew members.

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The incident, which took place in the Greek port of Piraeus, south of Athens, was captured on video.

The footage shows Andonis Kargiotis, 36, running towards the Blue Horizon ferry and getting on the ramp that leads to the ship.

Two crew members can be seen standing at the edge of the ship and preventing the man from boarding.

Despite being pushed back, the man tried to get onboard the ferry again and fell backwards into the water as he wrestled to get past the crew.

The captain of the ship and three crew members were charged with homicide on Wednesday.

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The crew appeared to do nothing to help him and the ferry continued sailing towards the island of Crete before being ordered back to Piraeus.

The man trying to board the ship
The man trying to board the ship. Picture: Twitter

His body was later recovered from the water.

In another video, a crew member was heard making an announcement to passengers saying the ferry's departure was delayed "by an incident ... for which the ship bears no responsibility".

The coastguard said in a statement: "A man fell in the port of Piraeus during the sailing of the Blue Horizon. He was recovered unconscious and taken to the General State Hospital of Nikaia.

"The ship is returning to Piraeus."

Greek shipping minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said: "I express my sadness for the tragic incident in the port of Piraeus in which one person lost his life.

"All the necessary actions are being taken by the Piraeus Port Authority to clarify the case and assign responsibility."

Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hit out at what he called "a combination of irresponsible behaviour and cynicism, contempt and indifference" that led to the Mr Kargiotis' death.

"Yesterday's shameful incident is not indicative of the kind of country we want," he added.

Mr Varvitsiotis condemned the crew members for their "illegal acts" and their failure to follow "the basic principle that Greek seamen have honoured for centuries" which is to rescue people at sea and "not to throw them into it, particularly in such circumstances", the minister added in a statement.

He said Mr Kargiotis had a ticket and had boarded the ship earlier, dashed out for unclear reasons and then tried to reboard. Mr Varvitsiotis also said he ordered an investigation into how port police responded to the incident.

Attica Group, which owns the Blue Horizon, initially issued a brief statement saying it was "devastated by the tragic incident" and would co-operate with the authorities.

In a longer statement several hours later it expressed sorrow for Mr Kargiotis' death and pledged an investigation into the "unthinkable" incident.

The ferry's captain, first mate and two more crew members appeared before a Piraeus prosecutor to be formally charged on Wednesday.

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