The technological capacities of the ship PPLS 920 render absurd any no-footage claims (vid+pics)

The technological capacities of the ship (PPLS 920) render absurd any claim by the Greek authorities that no footage of the Pylos shipwreck exists.

[Announcement of the Initiative of Lawyers and Jurists for the Pylos shipwreck, July 20, 2023. Attached are a video recording and picture of the bridge of PPLS 920. Updates by the Initiative are available at].

A month after the shipwreck off the coast of Pylos and the mass drowning of hundreds of people, the Greek authorities have not taken any initiatives to recover the bodies of the missing persons, identify them, and give them a dignified burial, notwithstanding the submission of a relevant request to the Kalamata Prosecutor’s Office by the families of the missing. At the same time, the exact circumstances surrounding the sinking of the fishing vessel “Adriana” remain obscure, with the Greek authorities having ensured the complete absence of any witnesses (by releasing nearby vessels and denying the assistance of Frontex three times and claiming that there is no video footage available.

Yet, video footage does exist.

The claims of the Coast Guard press representative Mr N.Alexiou, that due to the urgency of the rescue the coast guard staff could not “go up on the ship’s deck and take a photo or record a video with their mobile phones” (see interview of July 20, 2023 with ERT) are ludicrous. The technological capacities of the ship PPLS 920 ship which was operating that night render those claims absurd. 

The photos and video footage which have surfaced, and on which we rely on today, refute the Coast Guard’s claims.

PPLS 920 is one of four identical P355GR vessels (PPLS 900, 910, 920 and 930) built by the Italian Cantiere Navale Vittoria,and bought by the Greek State in 2021 for 15 million euros each, with 90% of the funds provided by the EU’s Internal Security Fund. A previous, unrelated exhibition of the PPLS 900 deck made on behalf of the national television (July 10, 2022, ΕRT) shows the existence of state-of-the-art day, night, and infrared cameras, with a maximum visibility range of ten (10) kilometres. A photo taken from the deck of PPLS920 that has surfaced proves that all four vessels had the same equipment. This state-of-the-art equipment would have allowed the crew of PPLS920 to see the fishing vessel, overloaded with hundreds of people, as well as its interior, hours before it sank. 

The fact that the cameras were working, and were recording, is further proven by a leaked video, published by journalist Mr V. Lampropoulos on Mega TV Channel on July 8, 2023. The video footage shows the fishing vessel “Andriana” tilting for hours (roughly four hours) before it capsized and was recorded from the night cameras of PPLS920. The same characteristic green “target” icon in the middle of the image, as shown during the exhibition of the night cameras of the PPLS920 on national TV, is visible (see 03:14 και 02:29 of the attached video).

Considering all this, the claims of the press representative of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Mr N. Alexiou that one would have to go up on the deck and record a video with their mobile phone (!) is completely absurd. We have previously highlighted the spokesperson’s contradictions regarding the use of a towrope by the Coast Guard, which render him completely unreliable. The Coast Guard leadership must provide a concrete answer who gave the order not to record the incident even though the cameras were working. 

The Initiative of Lawyers and Jurists for the Pylos shipwreck is calling for a genuine, impartial, and exhaustive investigation into the circumstances of the shipwreck, free from any “public interest” restrictions, to establish the truth and allocate responsibility to all those involved in the incident from any position and in any capacity. 

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