The captain of a cargo ship heavily damaged in a collision off the island of Chios with another cargo ship refused help from Greek rescuers and port authorities on Friday and headed to Turkey.
Both vessels involved in the collision are foreign-flagged.
No injuries were reported among the combined crew of 32 and neither ship was taking in water or carrying cargo.
The Vanuatu-flagged ANT had a crew of 13, including 10 Turkish nationals, and was on its way from the Egyptian port of Alexandria to Ukraine. It suffered serious damage half-way across its hull.
The Singapore-flagged Potentia had a crew of 19 and was on route from Izmir to France.
Both ships’ crew remained onboard, while Greek coast guard authorities sent 7 patrol boats and an open-sea boat, augmented by a Hellenic Navy ship, a Hellenic Air Force Canadair CL-215 aircraft and 3 Super Puma helicopters.
Additionally, boats sailing in the area converged on the site, as did a Turkish coast guard boat.
According to reports, the ANT’s captain denied assistance from the Greek rescuers and the Hellenic Navy’s operations room, both of whom clarified that the ship was sailing in Greek search and rescue waters and that if help was needed it should be requested from the Greek authorities.
The ANT was then escorted by the Turkish coast guard vessel to Turkey.
Meanwhile, two tugboats from Piraeus and Lavrio are heading towards the Potentia, whose captain has not called for his crew to evacuate the vessel.
The cause of the accident is unclear. [AMNA]