Father and Daughter, Maud Allain, 16 and Jean-Christophe Allain, 45 – Ship Sinking Death, Sea Diamond Passenger, April 5, 2007, Time of Death 4:00-7:00.
The Louis Cruise Line cruise ship, Sea Diamond ran aground today just off the Aegean island of Santorini. Sea Diamond is registered in Greece.
The ship had 1600 passengers onboard, most were rescued, but two French passengers, a man and his daughter are missing. Divers began search the sunken vessel for the two on April 6, 2007. Jean-Christophe Allain, 45, and his 16-year-old daughter, Maud Allain both from France are still missing. Initial reports that all were accounted for, are incorrect.
Tourism Minister Fanny Palli Petralia said she had spoken with the missing passenger’s wife. “The lady said her cabin filled with water when the ship struck rocks and that she narrowly escaped,” Petralia said. “She was not sure whether her husband and daughter made it out because things happened so suddenly… in a few seconds. Her other child was up on deck and was evacuated safely.”
Louis Cruise Lines said there were 730 Americans, 112 Spaniards, 100 French and many other foreign nationals on board, including Germans, Britons and 15 Australians, and 390 crew.
The Merchant Marine Ministry said another Louis Cruise ship transported 296 passengers and 38 crew to the port of Piraeus on Friday. The rest of the passengers and the crew were expected in Piraeus later in the day.
After the ship ran aground on a volcanic reef, ripping open her hull, she began to list heavily and an oil slick was seen coating the ocean surface. Ships and small craft came to the rescue after the ship called out in distress as she began sinking.
Greek authorities have now charge the captain and key officers in the sinking. The captain, chief mate, second mate, third mate, chief cabin steward, and housekeeper of the Greek-flagged vessel were arrested after the accident, a Merchant Marine Ministry spokeswoman said.
The six officers were charged with causing a shipwreck through negligence, breaching international shipping safety regulations and polluting the environment, state NET said. All were released pending further investigations. The ministry spokeswoman had said the captain and the five others were appearing before the prosecutor on the nearby island of Naxos.
The country’s tourism minister said those responsible for the accident “will be held accountable in the strictest way.”
Greece levied a fine against the cruise line of $1.57 million for the environmental impact of the sinking.
Parents and passengers from Georgia and North Carolina filed suit against Louis Hellenic Cruise line from Greece and EF Travel, Inc. from Cambridge Massachusetts for the sinking of the Sea Diamond.