Following reports that have appeared in the media claiming that the official nautical chart for the area of the accident, issued by the Hellenic Hydrographic Office, contained erroneous information, the owners and managers of the ‘SEA DIAMOND’ wish to report that they, along with the legal team defending the Master, did employ the services of a specialized hydrographic survey company, AKTI Engineering, to conduct a detailed survey of the area. AKTI Engineering is one of the most competent and reputable companies of its kind in Greece.
The results of this detailed hydrographic survey of the accident area have revealed that the reef, which the ‘SEA DIAMOND’ struck, is in fact lying at a distance of 130 meters from shore and not at a distance of 60 meters from shore as is incorrectly marked on the nautical chart. The official chart shows the depth of the water at the area of impact varying from eighteen to twenty-two metres, whilst the survey shows that it is only five metres. These findings demonstrate that, based on the official nautical chart used onboard, the vessel was on a safe course during the approach to her assigned mooring position in Santorini.
It is evident from the above findings that the cause of the accident was the erroneous mapping information contained in the nautical chart.
The Owners and Managers of m/v SEA DIAMOND wish to emphasize that the results of the detailed hydrographic survey fully justify their position to defend and support the Master’s qualifications, skills and experience against a large number of purported experts who have been engaged in a campaign attacking the experience and professional ability of the Master, the Greek crew and the reputation of the Hellenic merchant marine in general. The results also form the best possible answer to the orchestrated attacks aimed at damaging the good reputation of Louis Hellenic Cruises, its Directors and Managers.
The Owners and Managers of the ‘SEA DIAMOND’ have already submitted the results of this new scientific mapping survey to the Hellenic Hydrographic Office of the Hellenic Navy and the other responsible authorities, so that the maritime charts for Santorini can be updated to ensure that similar incidents do not occur again in the future.