Seafarer's Family Doesn't Accept "Suicide"
Maria-Katerina Naki, the sister of a 23 year old seafarer who went missing at sea in April 2015, doesn’t believe her brother committed suicide.
In a family impact statement written for Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) and released this week as part of the charity’s Missing Seafarers Reporting Programme, she recounts how all the doors that could lead to the truth seem to have been closed. For HRAS, her story is the first in a new approach to profiling the effects on the families left behind after such events.
Maria-Katerina Naki’s statement
My name is Maria-Katerina Naki, I am the sister of the 23 year old Greek sub-lieutenant, Anastasios Nakis. Anastasios went missing onboard the bulk carrier Ingrid C flying the Marshall Islands flag on the 12th of April 2015 a few hours before the ship reached the port of Manzanillo, Mexico.
My brother graduated from the Ydra Merchantile Marine Academy in September 2014.
In November 2014 he embarked for his first professional voyage as a sub-lieutenant with the bulk carrier Ingrid C, flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. She belongs to the company EFShipping, of Eftasthiou Theodoros Shipping. The voyage was from Shanghai, China, to Manzanillo, Mexico.
On Saturday 11th April 2015, my father, mother and myself spoke on the phone with Anastasis for Easter wishes and wishes for his nameday as it was the Greek Orthodox Easter Saturday. We briefly exchanged our news. He was very well, happy and he did not mention to us anything in particular that would made us think he was not well, or that something was wrong.
On the same day, Saturday night, Mexico time (Sunday morning, Greek time) we chatted on the internet and he was quite in a mood for humour, as always. Nothing new on his behaviour, nothing strange, my brother was content and extrovert as always.
On Easter Monday afternoon (13th April 2015) we had a visit to our house, in Fournoi Argolis, from the chief master of the company who was aboard Ingrid C vessel and served as the shipmaster until Ingrid C reached the port of Shanghai, China. He told us that my brother went missing on Sunday 12th of April soon after lunch time. He reported to us that they looked everywhere for him on board the vessel and at sea, everywhere. They even went back to the spot where they lost track of him, but it was already night back then.
They looked for him along with five other vessels who happened to be close by as well as three helicopters, according to his report. They did not find any trace of my brother. The vessel resumed his voyage and arrived at the port of Manzanillo. In Manzanillo, the ship gave a brief report to the local authorities of ‘an incident’ and then disembarked to continue on its voyage.
When the ship arrived at the next port of call in Houston Texas, the three Greek crew members, gave a testimony to the Hellenic Coast Guard Maritime Attaché in Houston.
From that very moment on we have not been informed on anything regarding the case of my brother. We dont’ know what happen to our child. The Greek Embassy in Mexico did not pay any attention and had no interest to the case. Likewise, the relevant Hellenic Ministries. Only via the Hellenic Ministry of Merchantile Marine, we managed to extend for a couple of hours the maritime search and rescue operation that was looking for my brother the day he allegedly went missing. Nothing more.
We, as a family, my mother, myself, and my father have taken all necessary actions and have done everything feasible that we could as family to find out what happened to our child. We have appealed to all stakeholders involved in the case. Unfortunately, we found many doors closed. As long as we are alive we will continue to look for him, and we will do everything possible to eventually find the truth behind his disappearance. And no one will stop us.
My brother was a young man who loved his job and who wanted to evolve and success in his career in the maritime industry. He was a strong character, driven from his aims and dreams. He was kind and lovable from everybody. He was a man of dignity, of unquestionable ethics, a fair man. He would harm nobody.
We lost our life, our soul, our one and only child. Every day we wake up and we wish and pray that he is alive and that he will return home soon. We will do everything possible, move the earth if needed, but we will find out exactly what happened. Me and my family are alone in this game for the State, authorities and the people responsible for his safety on board turned their back on us.
We hereby publicly deny, based on available evidence, that our child, my brother, the scenario of suicide, although certain people openly insinuated it. We believe that there are people out there who are to be held responsible for our child’s loss and we hope that sooner or later justice will conclude upon them.
The content and detail within this Missing Seafarer Reporting Programme Case Study and Family Impact Statement has been provided to Human Rights at Sea by the Nakis family with express permission to reproduce and publish in support of the ongoing case filed with the Programme in 2015. The contents of the submitted text have been checked, as best as is possible, for accuracy by the authors at the time of writing. Human Rights at Sea is not liable in anyway, whatsoever, in any jurisdiction, for the contents of this case study which has been translated and published in good faith following investigation by the Charity. All text and pictures a have been acknowledged where able. Any omissions or factual inaccuracies may be alerted by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The opinions, perspectives and comments are solely those of the Nakis family.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.