The Euroferry Olympia is a Hansa-class ferry operated by the Italian Grimaldi Lines, in service since 1995. The ship operated as Transeuropa in the Baltic Sea by the Finnish shipping company Finnlines until November 2013. The new owner Grimaldi operated the ship in the Mediterranean. On February 18, 2022, a major fire broke out on the ship when it was north of Corfu.

Euroferry Olympia in Salerno, Italy in 2019
  • Transeuropa (1995–2013)
  • Euroferry Olympia (2013–present)
Port of registry
BuilderStocznia Gdańska S.A.
Yard numberB501/03
LaunchedDecember 29, 1994
Maiden voyage1995
In serviceJune 12, 1995
Out of serviceFebruary 18, 2022
IdentificationIMO number9010175
FateCaught fire, 18 February 2022
StatusMoored in Astakos
General characteristics
Class and typeHansa-class ferry
Tonnage32,535 GT, 9,761 NT, 11,682 DWT
Length183.00 m (600 ft 5 in)
Beam28.70 m (94 ft 2 in)
Depth6.80 m (22 ft 4 in)
Installed powerDiesel engine 23,070 kW (30,940 hp)
PropulsionScrew propeller
Speed21.3 knots (39.4 km/h; 24.5 mph)
  • 90 passengers (as built)
  • 600 passengers (after rebuild)

Description edit

As built, the ship was 183.00 metres (600 ft 5 in) long overall and 171.30 metres (562 ft 0 in) between perpendiculars, with a beam of 28.70 metres (94 ft 2 in) and a depth of 6.80 metres (22 ft 4 in).[1] It was assessed at 32,535 gross tonnage (GT), 9,761 net tonnage (NT), 11,682 tons deadweight (DWT). The ship was powered by four Zgoda-Sulzer 8ZAL40S diesel engines, together rated at 23,070 kilowatts (30,940 bhp). They drove two screw propellers and could propel the ship at 21.3 knots (39.4 km/h; 24.5 mph).[1] As built, there was capacity for 90 passengers.[2]

History edit

Transeuropa in Travemünde
Euroferry Olympia in Salerno, Italy, 2019

The ship was a Hansa-class ferry. It was built as yard number B501/03 by Stocznia Gdańska S.A., Gdańsk, Poland. It was launched as Transeuropa on December 29, 1994 and delivered to Poseidon Schiffahrt OHG, Lübeck, Germany on May 31, 1995. The IMO Number 9010175 was allocated. It entered service on the Lübeck–Helsinki route on 6 December. In 2000, Transeuropa was registered to Finnlines Deutschland, Lübeck, entering service on the Helsinki–Travemünde route on January 10, 2001.[2]

On November 6, 2007, Transeuropa was placed on the Lübeck–Saint Petersburg route. This was changed to Lübeck–Mukran–Saint Petersburg on February 13, 2009 then Lübeck–Mukran–Helsinki–Saint Petersburg–Kotka–Lübeck on May 30. The ship was placed on the Lübeck–Rostock–Kotka–Helsinki route on December 30, 2009 then Lübeck–Ventspils–Saint Petersburg from January 2010 to October 6, 2012. Transeuropa sailed on the Helsinki–Rostock route from November 13 until October 2013.[2]

In November 2013, Transeuropa was sold to Atlantica Navigazione, Naples, Italy. The ship sailed from Travemünde for Malta on November 2, arriving on November 20. It was rebuilt at Valletta to provide accommodation for 576 passengers; the ship's dimensions remained the same, except that the depth was increased to 15.23 metres (50 ft 0 in), and tonnage to 33,588 GT.[3] Renamed Euroferry Olympia, it entered service on the RavennaIgoumenitsaPatras route in January 2014.[2]

2022 fire edit

On February 18, 2022, at around 4:30 a.m. local time (UTC+2), a fire broke out on the ship in international waters near Diapontia Islands, northwest of Corfu while en route from Igoumenitsa in north-west Greece to Brindisi in south-east Italy.[4] The captain instigated an effective evacuation of the ship.[5] According to authorities, there were at least 292 people on board: 239 registered passengers and two refugees who were not officially checked in, as well as 51 crew members. Grimaldi confirmed that there were 153 vehicles on board.[4] The fire broke out in the parking deck, probably in a truck. Euroferry Olympia was brought closer to the north Corfu coast to offer better protection from the wind.[4]

The ship was later towed to Astakos to complete the fire-fighting and by 23 March the bodies of the eleven missing passengers had been recovered.[6][7]

The Greek union of lorry drivers (SEOFAE) accused Grimaldi of overloading the ship; the company denied this, stating that passenger numbers were at only 42 per cent of capacity, all 159 lorry drivers had cabins, and overbooking of freight vehicles was prevented. Grimaldi said that it complied with international rules forbidding passengers entering the garage decks while the ship is moving, though an Italian truck driver told RAI that he and many other truck drivers had previously camped in the car deck on the Euroferry Olympia.[5]

The Greek and Italian agencies - Hellenic Bureau for Marine Casualties Investigation (HBMCI) and Direzione Generale Investigation Ferroviarie e Maritime (DIGIFEMA) - commenced a joint accident investigation. At the same time the captain and the two 1st mates were briefly detained to allow statements to be taken.[4][5]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Register of Ships 2000-01: P-Z. London: Lloyd's Register of Shipping. 2000. p. 1495. ISBN 1-900839-81-4.
  2. ^ a b c d "M/S TRANSEUROPA" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Archived from the original on April 13, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2022.
  3. ^ "88300 Euroferry Olympia". LeonardoInfo. RINA. Retrieved February 24, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c d Papadimas, Lefteris; Amante, Angelo (February 19, 2022). "Twelve still missing after blaze engulfs Greece-Italy ferry". Reuters. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c "Passagier nach Brand auf Mittelmeer-Fähre lebend gefunden (Passenger found alive after fire on Mediterranean ferry)". Der Standard (in Austrian German). Archived from the original on March 16, 2022. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  6. ^ "Ninth body recovered from smoldering Euroferry Olympia |". Archived from the original on March 14, 2022. Retrieved March 14, 2022.
  7. ^ "Euroferry Olympia: Εντοπίστηκαν δύο σοροί εντός του πλοίου (Euroferry Olympia: Two bodies found inside the ship)". (in Greek). March 23, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.