Two French tourists are still missing after a cruise ship ran aground in southern Greece on Thursday. The rest of the passengers – more than 1,000 – were evacuated within a few hours and taken to the nearby island of Santorini, one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations, where they spent the night.
The ship slowly sank in the early hours of Friday morning, causing a small oil slick which was being cleaned up by coastguards. The tourists, including many Americans, Spaniards and French have been transported back to Athens. It is believed the father and daughter who are missing did not manage to leave their cabin in time.
One US passenger says it was a narrow escape: “I heard a noise and it was a loud noise of course and then I stepped outside of my cabin and looked and the water was coming down the hallway and I thought I have to go back inside to get my life- jacket but I had to open the door and I did not have time because now the water was up over my ankles. So I ran as fast as I could, of course, up to the fifth level to see if my wife was alright,” he said.
“Oh my goodness,” said another passenger from Australia, “we were in our room and we were expecting an alarm if there was a problem. We heard a big shudder and then the whole boat started to tilt. All of our glasses were sliding everywhere and our warning that the ship was sinking was some of the staff running down the corridor screaming out ‘life jackets’ and banging on doors.”
The search continues for the missing French tourists. The cruise company has launched an investigation into the cause of the incident.