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Tourists return after Aegean Cat tragedy

TWO British tourists remain in a seriously condition in hospital after a boat smashed into a dock on the Greek island of Kos today. The catamaran, with 213 people, mostly UK holidaymakers, and six crew, onboard was traveling from Didim to Kos when the accident occurred.

Tourists return after Aegean Cat tragedy
15 September 2010 - 19:46

TWO British tourists remain in a seriously condition in hospital after a boat smashed into a dock on the Greek island of Kos today. (WED SEPT 15).

The catamaran, with 213 people, mostly UK holidaymakers, and six crew, onboard was traveling from Didim to Kos when the accident occurred.

Passengers said the Aegean Cat catamaran slammed twice into the harbourside wall as it tried to dock at about 11.20am.

A total of 25 people, mostly British, were taken by two ambulances and private taxis to hospital in Kos with a variety of broken bones, head and whiplash injuries, as well as  cuts caused by flying glass.

A British Embassy official in Tukey said 23 people were later discharged, with two remaining in hospital overnight.

The passengers were later retuned to Bodrum by another boat and then taken by bus back to Didim to their hotels and homes.

Speaking exclusively to Voices, passenger Mr Blake Maynard said: “The boat first lurched into the dock wall and threw people round like rag dolls. There was blood everywhere and people were crying and calling for help.

“As people went to their help, the boat then slammed into the wall a second time causing more injuries.”

Mr Maynard, a trained first aider, said he was shocked when the boat crew failed ton come to their aid and could not find any first aid kits on board.

He said: “The response from crew on the boat and from the Greek authorities was very slow. We had to wait for about an hour before the last of the injured was taken off the boat for treatment.”

Another Briton Phil Simonetti, who was on board with his wife Dawn, daughter Nina and their son Damion and his baby daughter Azaya, said: “When the catamaran slammed into the dock there was just panic. There was so much blood it was like a battlefield.

“It was quite frightening and many people were concerned about the damage to the boat and fears that it would sink.”

Barrie Dale was on the top deck of the ship, called Aegean Cat, when it hit the dock. "The first thing I thought was that it was a bomb," he said.

"There were two bangs, the boat hit the dock twice, and everyone was thrown to the floor. In the impact a lot of people fell over a woman and she broke her leg as a result.

Yeşil Marmaris’ chief executive Mr Şükrü Tugay, said the incident, while under investigation, was thought to have been caused by a technical fault.

The Aegean Cat is a 415-capacity catamaran that was built in Australia and was in operation in Hong Kong before serving the Didim to Kos route. Trips between the two ports are weekly, costing about £37 for a return journey.

The island's deputy mayor, David Gerasklis, said the boat may have suffered a mechanical failure.

It had attempted to dock once, then "returned with greater force and crashed into the dock for a second time".

"Some of the passengers apparently got up to see what happened, and they were injured in the second crash," he said.

Mr Gerasklis said the injured had been taken to hospital while the remaining passengers had disembarked safely.

Aegean Cat passengers returns to BodrumAegean Cat passengers returns to Bodrum

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