2 Sailors Killed in Recovery of Stricken Ferry

As distress call comes in from another ship in the region
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2014 7:45 AM CST
2 Sailors Killed in Recovery of Stricken Ferry
Smoke billows from the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic that caught fire in the Adriatic Sea, Dec. 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/Italian Navy, ho)

Two Albanian sailors are the latest casualties in the Greek ferry disaster, killed today when they were hit by a line during attempts to secure the still-smoldering Norman Atlantic. One man died instantly, reports the AP; the other died as medics worked on him. Dutch firm Smit Salvage is overseeing the recovery of the 610-foot ferry; one line was attached early today and sailors were working to attach a heavier-duty towline. The AP notes that it's not clear if the sailors were killed in that process. Also unclear: where the Norman Atlantic will be towed once it's secured.

Meanwhile, discrepancies in the ship's manifest mean authorities don't know exactly how many people were aboard—or how many might still be missing. Searches are continuing. And there's more trouble in the region's waters: A cargo ship believed to be carrying some 600 immigrants issued a distress call today, reports the AP, and Greece is diverting a frigate from the Norman Atlantic and sending a helicopter in response. The call came from a passenger aboard the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M, officials say; the vessel was sailing in bad weather northwest of the island of Corfu. (Read more ferry stories.)

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