Blue Horizon ferry accidents and incidents

Blue Horizon ferry cruise ship

Former names
Varuna, Superferry Hellas

Length (LOA)
187 m / 614 ft

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CruiseMapper's Blue Horizon ferry cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 1488-passenger vessel owned by BLUE STAR FERRIES (Ferries). Our Blue Horizon ferry accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2020
  • pier collision/allision - 2020 (Heraklion, Crete)
  • deaths - overboard (2018, 2023)

05 September 2023Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) On September 5, 2023, at 18:23 UTC (AIS data) the ship was leaving the dock in Port Piraeus/Athens when a 36-year-old man fell off the boarding ramp and into the waters (between the vessel and the quay).

Soon was revealed that the man (Antonis Kariotis, a resident of Agios Nikolaos, Crete) was trying to board the ship as his family was already on board. The body was discovered a short time later.

Initially was speculated that he lacked a ferry ticket, despite the fact that tickets can be issued on the ship/after departure. On the following day was revealed that the deceased had initially purchased a ticket and boarded Blue Horizon, but, for unknown reasons, he disembarked and then attempted to reboard. According to Karyotis's family, he was autistic, which further complicated the tragic event.

On September 6th, Greek media shared videos (posted on social platforms) showing the man being pushed by security guards off the ship. He was attempting to run onto the ramp while the vessel was leaving the quay. One video showed his body being drawn underwater by the ship's propellers, raising concerns about a potential head injury sustained during the fall.

Attica Group's Blue Horizon was ordered to return to Piraeus after ~50 min (arrived back at 19:35 UTC/AIS data).

When the ship returned, the authorities arrested the Captain and the three crew members (involved in the incident) who were charged with manslaughter.

Miltiadis Varvitsiotis (Greece's Shipping Minister/1969-born, the son of former Minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis) ordered a full investigation into the incident.

The ship was operating on the route Piraeus-Heraklion (Crete Island). Blue Horizon eventually left Piraeus on September 6th, at 01:03 UTC (AIS data) and arrived in Heraklion the same day at 10:22 UTC (AIS data).

24 August 2020Fire Accident

On August 24, 2020, a fire accident (explosion in the engine room) resulted in 4 injured crew. The men were immediately ambulanced and hospitalized ashore. The injured were all in stable conditions. One of them sustained more serious (not life-threatening) injuries.

The accident occurred while the cruiseferry was docked in homeport Heraklion (Crete Island, Greece). The fire was caused by a pump explosion. The ship was without passengers and regularly scheduled for the Heraklion-Piraeus (Athens) service. The vessel berthed/docked at ~6 AM (Aug 24).

02 January 2020Ship Collision / Allision

On January 2, 2020, while maneuvering for docking in Port Heraklion (Crete Island, Greece), the cruiseferry collided with the wharf.

At the time of the collision, the ship was carrying 428 passengers plus wheeled cargo (22 trucks, 69 cars, 3 motorbikes). No injuries were reported, and the vessel sustained minor hull damages (scratches on the starboard side).

The ship was serving the route between Piraeus-Athens and Heraklion.

Note: Actually, this type of marine accident is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

23 May 2018Crew / Passenger Deaths

(overboard) In the evening on May 23, 2018, a 25-year-old male passenger went overboard while the ship was still docked in homeport Piraeus (Athens, Greece) and about to start a regularly scheduled crossing to Crete.

The incident was reported after the ferry left Piraeus, en-route to Heraklion (Crete Island), carrying a total of 255 passengers. Piraeus Port Authority and the Greek Coast Guard started a search and rescue operation for the missing man. The ship had to return back to port. The Coast Guard dispatched 5 patrol boats for the search but failed to find the body.

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