“Norman Atlantic” was on fire from Corfu, but the captain was going on full speed, because he wanted to reach the territorial sea of Italy”, says to “Patris” newspaper Mr. Giorgos Dimitroulakis from Demati, Heraklion, who is the owner of a big truck.
He was on board “Norman Atlantic” with his wife and together they experienced the absolut… nightmare.
Mr. Dimitroulakis is traveling for more than 30 years, he knows the sea and the ships…
“I believe that we will never know the truth. The captain was just a few nautical miles from Corfu and the ship was on fire. He decided to reach the territorial sea of Italy and then he sent the mayday signal. Why didn’t he send the SOS earlier? Why didn’t he stop the ship earlier and return back to Corfu? What was the speed of the ship? They had other plans, that’s for sure”. said Mr. Dimitroulakis to “Patris” newspaper.
He had tons of cucumbers from Timpaki in his truck and then he would take meat from the Netherlands and Belgium.
His wife was with him, because they wanted to be together for New Year’s Eve.
They embarked at Patras and went straight to their cabin.
According to some of his colleagues, the fire must have started from Igoumenitsa, because the ship left the port with a 20 minutes delay.
“Something was going on. The fire must have started from Igoumenitsa. Some other truck drivers were asking the crew that smoke was coming from the kitchen. It was 2.30 a.m. When we suddenly woke up at about 5 a.m., the ship was on fire. I believe that the ship was burning for two or three hours, but they didn’t tell us anything. My wife woke me up. She smelled the smoke. I saw a lot of people running in the corridor. I went to the control room. Captain Pavlos was a friend of mine and asked him what was going on. He told me not worry… That’s when I heard explosions from the garage. Lights went off and the ship stopped. I saw the Italian members of the crew getting in the liferafts and leaving the ship”, said Mr. Dimitroulakis.
He was rescued after 30 hours on board “Norman Atlanitc”. He was transferred to the italian ship “San Giorgio”.
“They just gave me a blanket. I had hypothermia twice. A doctor came… I remember that we complained to the captain when our cell phones had no signal. We could not call our families. Many of my friends died on “Norman Atlantic”. I see their photos and I cry”. mentions Mr. Dimitroulakis, who will sue the owners of the ship, because he lost his fortune.
“I lost everything in that ship. I don’t even have 10 euros to buy something”, said Mr. Dimitroulakis to “Patris” newspaper.