British Holidaymakers enjoying a day trip to the Greek island of Kos from the Turkish resort of Didim were left battered and bruised yesterday when the catamaran they were travelling on crashed twice as it approached the port.
25 people were taken to hospital out of the 209 tourists who were onboard, suffering injuries including broken bones and cuts from the shattered windows. Five of them were seriously injured, but none were thought to be in a life-threatening condition.
The majority of the 209 tourists, who were travelling on the Aegean Cat, run by a Turkish firm, were British.
The catamaran is thought to have suffered a technical problem which caused it to collide with the dock. Those onboard described first-hand horrific scenes.
David Gerasklis, deputy mayor of Kos Town and vice president of Kos Port Authority, said: ‘There was a technical problem with the boat which caused it to crash. There is no other logical explanation.
‘After it hit the first time, it reversed about 20 metres and then hit the pier again.
‘The second time was worse, as passengers were standing up to see what was happening. Some of them were injured with broken glass inside the boat.’
Phil Simonetti, whose wife Dawn is thought to have broken her nose in the impact, told an English-language Turkish newspaper, Altinkum Voices: ‘There was so much blood everywhere it was like a battlefield.
‘People suffered broken bones and whiplash injuries as they were thrown about as the boat slammed into the wharf.’
Head of security at the port in Kos, Efstathios Petalas, said a colleague saw the accident as it happened.
He said: ‘During the approach to the harbour, one of my guards saw that the course was not correct.
‘After a while, the catamaran hit the dock twice. Finally, it was able to safely approach the dock from the side.
‘I was notified by phone and went there where I saw people injured from the impact. Many had been injured by falling.
‘I saw one child on board but she was not injured, thank God.’
The Foreign office said consular staff were looking into the crash as a matter of urgency, and The Greek Ministry of Mercantile Marine said the port authority in Kos was investigating the incident, which occurred at 11.12am local time.