Fire-Damaged Greek Ferry Towed to Shipyard for Repair
On Wednesday, Greek shipowner Anek Lines reported that the fire-damaged ropax ferry Eleftherios Venizelos has been transferred to the shipyard district of Perama, west of Piraeus, where she will undergo repairs.
Anek extended its thanks to the Piraeus Port Authority, which is managed by China COSCO, for its assistance in responding to the emergency. "We would like to express our special thanks to the PPA . . . for their cooperation and the full support they have provided in all the processes that have been carried out, from the safe disembarkation of passengers to the final extinguishing of the fire," Anek said in a statement. The firm also extended its thanks to PPA's head of safety, George Sariyannis, and to the heads of the Hellenic Coast Guard and the Piraeus Fire Brigade.
The Venizelos' route between Piraeus and Crete has been filled by other vessels, including the Blue Galaxy, Paros Jet and Blue Star 2. Sailings for Monday were canceled due to the PNO seafarers' strike.
Late on the night of August 28, a fire broke out on the vehicle deck of the Venizelos as she was under way from Piraeus to Chania. According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, the crew quickly brought the fire under control, and the master ordered passengers to muster in two stations towards the stern. The vessel returned to Piraeus, where shoreside fire teams with four fire engines joined the effort to control the blaze. The Venizelos' passengers disembarked safely to the pier while the vehicle deck was still burning.
The firefighting effort continued for days, and the ferry took on an unsettling five- to seven-degree list at her berth last Friday when pooled water shifted from one side of the ship to the other. The vessel continued to smoke on Saturday.
Video of the firefighting response effort courtesy Hellenic Fire Service