French Tourists Held In Greece After Deadly Boat Accident

Channels Television  
Updated August 10, 2019
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A group of French tourists were held in Greece for questioning Saturday after a boat accident left two dead and another person seriously injured, the coastguard said.

But they were likely to be released after a French man who identified himself as the boat driver turned himself in later in the day, accompanied by a lawyer, officials said.

The group including five minors under 15, were on a 10-metre speedboat that allegedly rammed a smaller wooden vessel on Friday evening near the Peloponnese resort of Porto Heli, 170 kilometres (105 miles) southeast of Athens, a coastguard spokeswoman told AFP.

The collision killed two elderly Greek men on board the wooden vessel — reportedly a fishing boat. A 60-year-old Greek woman was seriously injured and taken to Athens for treatment.

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Officials could not immediately clarify whether the 44-year-old Frenchman who said he was driving the boat, and evaded arrest for several hours after the accident, would appear before a prosecutor later Saturday or on Monday.

The other French nationals — two men, three women and five children aged three to 14 — were initially taken to Porto Heli for questioning after helping to bring the injured woman and one of the bodies to shore, the coastguard officer said.

The minors were with their parents at the Porto Heli coastguard offices, the press officer said.

Speedboat accidents involving swimmers or other boats are common in Greece during the summer.

In 2016, four people including a four-year-old girl were killed when a speedboat sliced into their wooden tourist vessel near the island of Aegina.

Nobody was sanctioned as the prime suspect, an elderly Greek man, died a year after the accident.