April 7, 2007
Captain charged after cruise ship sinks
The captain and five other senior crew members of the Greek-flagged cruise ship Sea Diamond have been charged with negligence and violating international maritime rules, according to CNN and other sources.
Owned by Cyprus-based Louis Hellenic Cruises, the ship Sea Diamond -- when it ran aground Thursday on a reef while trying to dock in Santorini harbor.
It was carrying about 1,600 people -- including 731 Americans and 391 crew.
Greek Navy divers have continued searching for a 45-year-old Frenchman and his 16-year-old daughter who were among the passengers. All other passengers and crew were rescued.
The 22,142 gt ship is the former Birka Princess, built in Finland in 1986. The ship underwent extensive refurbishment in 1999 and joined Louis Hellenic Cruises' fleet in 2006.
CNN quotes a prosecution official as saying that the captain admitted in an interview that he tried to free the ship from the reef before evacuating the passengers.
The CNN report says ship's hull was ripped open by the effort to move off the rocks, causing it to sink in Santorini's volcanic lagoon 18 hours later.