A fire broke out on Friday on an Italian-flagged cruise ship sailing through the Ionian Sea into the Mediterranean. According to the Greek port police, the ship is carrying 237 passengers and 51 crew members.
That is what Secretary of State for the Merchant Navy, Kostas Katsafados, told the Greek radio station Skai all passengers of the Euroferry Olympia are safe and on lifeboats.
cruise ship fire
No casualties, passengers evacuated
The passengers of the Euroferry Olympia were bound for Brindisi, Italy from the Greek city of Igoumenitsa.
No casualties have been reported and police said three tugboats and three patrol boats were sent to assist passengers.
Officials said the captain of the Euroferry Olympia asked the passengers to get off the boat.
They were transported to the nearby Greek island of Corfu, the Greek Coast Guard, which led the rescue operation, said.
Details of the fire on the cruise ship
The incident took place around 3:30 a.m. SA Standard Time on Friday morning, off the north coast of Corfu between Greece and Albania, a Greek Coast Guard news agency official said. AFP†
The cause of the fire is not yet known and an investigation has been launched, the service said.
According to (the automatic identification system) the current position of Euroferry Olympia is in the Eastern Mediterranean (coordinates 39.97747 N / 19.67572 E).
The latest entry on Vessel Finders shows the vessel en route to the port of Brindisi, Italy, sailing at a speed of 1.0 knots. It was expected to arrive at its destination at 7.30am on February 18.
The 27-year-old Euroferry Olympia – classified as a Passenger/Ro-Ro Cargo Ship – built in 1995 and currently sails under the flag of Italy.
Edited AFP copy; and additional reporting by Cheryl Kahla.