Category: Shipwreck
Number of people: 70 (7 women, 10 children)
In the evening of the 20th of November we were alerted to a boat in distress close to Crete. We immediately call the travelers, who tell us they are 70 people (10 children, 7 women and 53 men) on board of a white yacht. Their engine as well as their sail is broken and the waves are high. We inform the Hellenic Coast Guard in Piraeus about the situation and ask them to launch a rescue operation.
We call the Central port of Chania to alert them as well - they tell us they already know about the distress since five hours. The people on board try to reach the Hellenic Coast Guard as well, but communication in English was not possible.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Piraeus tells us that we can be sure, that if there is a boat at that position in urgent problems, they will perform a rescue. This proved to be wrong: During the night we keep contact with the people on board. Their ship as sinking while the wind gets stronger and the waves get higher. We keep on calling different authorities who don't act until the morning.
In the afternoon of the 21st of November a relative writes us:
I got news now. Since the morning there is a ship near them, and a while ago it went to them and hit the yacht twice. There are people who fell into the water. And after they fell into the water, they were saved. We want to check if there are missing persons.
We later find out: While 69 people were taken to Crete, one man died during the shipwreck.