Five years have passed already since the tragic sinking of the Express Samina in Paroikia Harbour on the night of 26th September 2000.
The long-awaited trial of those charged in connection with the disaster (Captain Vassilis Yiannakis, First Mate Anastassios Psychoyios, Second Mate Giorgos Triandafillos, First Engineer Gerasimos Skiadaressis, Radio Officer Dimitris Tsoumas, seaman Panayiotis Kasdaglis and two former representatives of Minoan Flying Dolphins Costas Klironomos and Nikos Vikatos) began in Athens at the end of May and is still in progress. Only Yiannakis and Psychoyios face criminal charges for "manslaughter with possible premeditated malice". The remaining six defendants have been charged with misdemeanors.
Last month a film crew from Cineflix Productions, a Canadian production company that specializes in factual documentaries on air, rail and marine safety, were on the island to research a documentary they are making about the Samina that is planned to be broadcast in 2006. And during September two of the survivors from the U.S. - Christine Shannon and Heidi Hart (see the Sept 2001 issue of Paros Life for further information about Christine and Heidi's project) - plan to visit Paros for the five-year anniversary of the sinking. Their goal is to begin building a statue as a gift to the island, to mark the tragic event, to be a monument to the heroic actions of the people of Paros and a memorial for all whose lives were forever changed by the events of that night.
"The gratitude we feel towards the people of Paros has compelled us to find a way to say thank you. We believe that the good in humanity should be promoted whenever possible. This event brought out the best in people in the worst of situations," they write, "and it is in this spirit that we have designed a statue to build on the island. The design is of a looking glass, which connects viewers with the sight of the tragedy. Our vision is to have the memorial become a destination, a place to remember the past we all share".
Christine and Heidi have also set up a memorial website at www.expresssamina.com through which you can contact them and get additional information.
A memorial service will be held on the 26th, as is done every year, at the Ekatontapyliani.