Who was Who on that Ferry? Who are those still missing from each country? Whose “flesh” is still burning on that floating hell after almost two weeks, and who is going to honestly inform the public for the macabre marine casualty?
Italian prosecutor Giuseppe Volpe, who is in Italy investigating the tragedy, said 98 people were unaccounted for after the disaster.
He said: “There are 98 people of whom there is still no news.”
Who are those people? Why nobody is talking for them?
In Greece , the story is by the media systematically played down, as the press is being intensively absorbed by the pre-election polarity .The stories of the survivors as they came alive from the elusive tragedy are being played down, and the latest days, the ferry story may not even appar on the news, fading out in the Greek public opinion .
But we are talking of an uncountable number of human bodies, potentially still flamming in that ship, next to us : Greeks, international travelers, and may be immigrants. Both Greek and Italian authorities expressed their “fear” that there might be numbers of immigrants that might be found which have illegaly boarded on the ship. It is a routine situation on the Aegean , -and now as is broadly revealed, and the Ionian ferries-, to have illicit immigrants on board.
On Saturday Jan. 4rth, one week after the disaster, Brindisi Port Capt. Mario Valente said that temperatures were “very high” inside the deck. Smoke still poured from the wreck. There was no estimate of when the search might begin.
It remains unknown When we could know anything more precise, for the world, the families of the unknown number of unaccounted passengers, for the international travel, for Greece, Italy,and the Mediterranean. This is the update of the facts revealed and officialy announced after the disaster.
Tragedy Topic nr.1, the victims:Who was who, and how many?
Greece and Italy have issued widely different figures for how many people are still not accounted for in the ferry fire that killed at least 11 people in the Adriatic Sea.
- The numbers ranged from as many as 98, according to Italian prosecutor Giuseppe Volpe,
- to 18, according to the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry.
Concerning the marine typical obligation ,“It is up to the departure port to match up their list and the people (rescued). “That is why we are continuing our (search) effort: we cannot know what the exact number was“, Maurizio Lupi told to the media.
- Greece says Italy’s list is full of duplications and misspellings but the discrepancy could not be immediately explained since the prosecutor’s office was closed for the New Year holiday. But after the New Year holiday , the question is miraculously forgotten .
- Italian transport minister Maurizio Lupi said it was unclear whether the passenger list released by the Greek authorities was an accurate reflection of who was on board. He said the ferry had made a stopover on a Greek island before it ran into trouble on Sunday morning. “There is an embarkation list on which the names of the 427 passengers and 56 crew appear,” Mr Lupi said.
- The Italian prosecutor stated that “the official number of missing persons could be disclosed when Greece decides to give us a reliable passenger list ‘because’ Greece on these procedures has been particularly slow,” he added.
According to the Greek Coast Guard, there is no information for 19 people so far since the early days of the disaster, of whom 10 are Greeks, a number that is announced and diffused to the Greek press , but is 19 people and no (98!) ,five times minor than the 98 people which the Italian authorities announced.
Dozens of survivors are not included in the list of passengers. The official announcement of the Greek authorities stated that “there are reservations about the exact number of survivors we can notice. A reason which may contribute to the overall confusion, is the possibility that some tickets might have been given just by manuscripts after the ship departed, by the account department on board…. “
Tragedy Topic Nr. 2, Safety : Safety Control had reported Fire errors and Emergency Rescue Response Plan absence.
Apart from leaks and doupts for the Safety qualifications of this trip before it started, which appear, after the fatality, to be scaring scandalous also, the first moments of boarding on that ship -before departure -were not showing any signs of maritime Safety control, as was easily by the passengers noticed .
The absence of an endorsed plan for the Cooperation of the ferry with the Greek Coastguard in case of accident, had been reported and notified to all the Greek Authorities in charge: the Ministry of Marine, the Headquarters of the Coast Guard and the Greek Coast Guard, and to the the Coast Operation Center. The paper of formal notification had been sent eight days before the ship was caught in flames on that fatal journey. The Central Patras Port Authority after concluding for the Safety Control Report, had set a deadline of 15 days to the Captain of the ship as it is now said , to fix the deficiencies .
The deadline expired on Friday, January 2, five full days after the naval tragedy. The existence of the document was revealed on the first day of the accident on Real Radio, and was also presented by Realnews newspaper on Sunday Jan.10.
“Following an inspection E / C / B Norman Atlantic, flag Italy, it has been found that the ship holds no Cooperation plan for Search and Rescue situations (SAR Co-operation Plan) endorsed by your service” .
The cooperation plan for emergency cases is considered essential for Emergency cases when the ship has to cooperate with the Greek Unified Coordination Centre for Search and Rescue. In the case of Norman Atlantic, it was the ultimate lfataliy factor .
On a press conference given by Greek Authorities, the absence of the endorsed cooperation project was reported by the leadership of the Coast Guard as the main cause of loss of valuable time, and consequently, of lives.
“The captain of endangered ship Norman Atlantic is of Italian nationality. Understanding the command of the Unified Coordination Centre for Search and Rescue in the English language was not always effective, having serious delays in the execution and implementation “, declared Rear Admiral of the Coast Guard, Nicholas Patrinos.
But the absence of the cooperation plan was not the only error. The fire doors were not working!
It is such an international ship line. One of the most frequent Greece-Italy ferry trips from Patras to Ancona, one that links the two countries since decades, daily.
Whose responsibility was, finally to let , or not to let the ferry leave the Patras Port?