The fishing vessel was moving away when passing boats tried to approach it, said the representative of the Coast Guard, Nikos Alexiou
For the reportBBCregarding the operation of search and rescue of foreigners in international waters in the maritime area southwest of Pylos, the Spokesperson of the Coast Guard, Nikos Alexiou, spoke to ERT.
He repeated what was mentioned in the Press Release of the Coast Guard, stressing that from the moment the vessel was spotted, the fishing vessel traveled a total of 24 nautical miles. Subsequently, in the afternoon hours of the same day, attempts were made to supply the boat with food supplies.
At the same time, a passing vessel approached the fishing vessel for assistance, which even reported that every time it tried to approach it, was moving away. Then he started a second paraplea reporting this in his turn as a denial. “All of this took 4.5 hours so it is deconstructed that it sat still for hours before sinking.” stated Mr. Alexiou.
He explained that the first approach was made at about 18.00 from the first float, while he noted that the attempted mooring by the Coast Guard took place around eleven o’clock at night (3 hours before the sinking) and lasted 5-7 minutes. He referred to the words of the people inside the boat when they approached it, saying they were shouting “Go Italy”. “Then they untied the rope and continued their journey on their own,” he emphasized.
When asked where the Coast Guard boat was at that time just before the tragic shipwreck, Mr. Alexiou replied that their boat was in line with the fishing boat, so that if necessary it could intervene immediately.
On another question about the “because the moment of sinking is not recorded” he replied: “When the ship goes into stress and we all go into an operational alert, you can’t cancel someone from the rescue process to shoot audio-visual footage. So the moment it was reported that he was losing his engines, immediately on the Coast Guard boat he went into operational alert and started rushing to the fishing boat to rescue”.
Finally, Mr. Alexiou explained thatthe Coast Guard could not intervene violently due to the refusal of the people on board the fishing vessel. “Clearly we could bypass the protocol, if there was the consent of the world. If you do any violent operation, the result would not be good” he concluded.
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