It was the late afternoon of August 8 in Andros. The 15-year-old student together with his 20-year-old friend went snorkeling, as they had been doing for the last few days. Then the bad thing happened. A speedboat passed by at high speed and seriously injured the little snorkeler who was taken by helicopter to the KAT and the doctors put up a real fight to save his left arm. To this day, the child is still hospitalized in this hospital, he has already undergone three surgeries and the doctors are trying to make his hand functional again.
The protothema.gr through the case file unravels the tangle of the case that reminded the story of little Vassilis Dosoula when on August 12, 1994 off Tolo in the Argolis a flying dolphin with 32 knots hit the boat and the propellers of the hydrofoil amputated both legs and right hand of the then 10-year-old child, which the doctors managed to “weld” to the KAT a few hours later. Almost three decades later a similar scene is presented through the testimonies of the skipper of the speedboat and the injured student. “I wasn’t drunk. I drank the tsipouro afterwards, to calm down…” claims the 33-year-old accused, with the child describing: “I heard a roar… I look ahead and find that a speedboat is coming towards me with its keel in the air. His speed was very high, I estimate 25 to 30 miles.’
The accused skipper
The 33-year-old defendant, in his apology to both the port and judicial authorities, was very detailed and gave a version of the things that “exasperated” him. He initially spoke about what preceded the marine accident, but also how it happened: “On August 8, 2022 and at around 19:45, while legally driving the speedboat 8709 – I, in which my two friends were on board after their three children, returning from a short walk, in the sea area of Kavos Korthiou of the island of Andros, between the beach “Tis grias to pidima” and the beach “Agia Aikaterini”, he was injured by the passage of the boat I was driving, a minor snorkeler, aged 15, who was at the spot with a friend of his also spearfishing, aged 20, without meeting the rules of safe recreational fishing.
When we perceived by the voices of the second mentioned what had happened, I immediately did what was possible under the conditions of the wind blowing on the spot, effected a safe turning of the vessel to cut the weather, collected the anger and his friend, provided the first help and we contacted the emergency number 108, so that it would be present at the port upon our arrival in EKAV as well as the port police”.
He then tried to justify the fact that he had consumed alcohol in the breathalyzer: “After picking up the injured person, who had a wound on his arm, the boat was filled with blood, my friends rushed to help the injured minor, the minor children of my friends were in a state of shock from the images they saw and from the general disturbance in the boat due to the event, and I, as much as possible, tried to be completely concentrated so that we could arrive quickly and safely at the port, so as not to lose precious time for the victim’s health. The stress he had put on me was unprecedented for me, but until we reached the port of Korthios, I remained focused since I did not know the state of damage the victim had suffered, so I made every effort to get him ashore immediately to take charge of the EKAB”.
“When we now arrived at the port, in which luckily for all of us but also due to our immediate actions which we already took during the collection of the minor spearfisherman, a doctor had already arrived and took charge of the victim in order to provide him with first aid. A crowd of people gathered at the spot, including my relatives, who saw us from the balcony of my house where they were sitting to enjoy their evening meal. My adrenaline at the time of this unfortunate incident, for which I am truly saddened, was at its zenith, but when we reached the port and now the injured man was in the hands of the doctor, I collapsed. I suddenly started shaking and panicked. I was in a state of shock, going back and forth between the pier and the road.”
And the 33-year-old defendant who was driving the speedboat continues in his version: “My mother ran to bring me a bottle of water as I told her that I don’t feel well and I have fainting tendencies. My godfather was also at the scene, who unfortunately urged me to consume alcohol from a bottle of tsipouro that he was holding and brought with him, from the moment they realized the incident from the balcony with my mother and ran to the pier to help. Confronting me in this situation, in order to appease the psychological state I was in, he offered me the bottle, a fact from which the generative cause of the positive result of the finding of alcohol in my blood emerges. After all, all of the above was done in public, as a result of which my mother reprimanded him for his above behavior. But I, being in a state of panic, consumed the relevant amount of alcohol, convinced that it would soothe the emotional consequences of the event. Being in shock, I did not think at all about the procedural actions to which I had to undergo and I consumed a small amount of alcohol, which corresponds to the amount detected in my blood, during the blood draw that was made at the Andros health center at 10:00 p.m. the evening”.
The testimony of the 15-year-old injured
The little gunsmith described to the port guards with absolute precision and detail what happened that hot afternoon last August: “On August 8, 2022, I was in the area of ”Kathakas”, between “Agia Aikaterini” of Korthi and the beach of “Tis grias to pidima” , with a friend of mine for swimming and spearfishing. I like spearfishing and my friend helps me with this hobby. When I got to the spot to swim and dive, I met another friend of mine who after greeting us told us to be careful because there were nets about 20 meters away. Shortly after our friend left and then I dived with my friend in the snorkeling area. In my waist, I tied the yellow buoy with the intended pennant.’
“I spread a 12-meter rope around me in order to keep the required safety distance. My friend was always by my side. Around 19:15 we were in the water and we were swimming towards the spot we wanted to fish, no more than five and a half meters, I hear a speedboat moving very close to us. Me and my friend yelled at him loudly. My friend identified the boat as his. The boat passed the shore very close to the shore, no more than 10 meters. A quarter of an hour later and as I was surfacing from a depth of about 10 meters, I suddenly heard the roar of a speedboat again. As soon as I came to the surface I hear my friend shouting, I turned around and saw him waving his hand and the speargun he was holding.
And the 15-year-old wounded man continues his shocking story: “I look in front of me and see that a speedboat is coming towards me with its keel in the air. His speed was very fast, I estimate 25 to 30 miles. In seconds, I tried to leave to the left towards the shore, my friend pulled me towards him, the boat’s keel hit me lightly in the jaw and then the boat took me from its bottom. The propeller hit me lightly first on the chest in the heart area and then on my left arm, arm and elbow, wrist and palm. The hits were clearly propeller hits.”
In his testimony, the 15-year-old also states: “Then my friend shouted to the boat to stop. Luckily the boat stopped and quickly with the help of my friend we got up there. I was bleeding profusely but I was conscious. After a few minutes we arrived at the port of Korthio. The EMS had been notified. After 10 minutes I saw that there were two port guards and the doctor of Korthios. In a short time, an ambulance from the EKAV arrived. They immediately went to the Andros health center where, after providing first aid, I was transferred by helicopter to the KAT hospital, where I was hospitalized for 11 days from August 9 to August 19, 2022.”
The legal point of view
The lawyer of the family of the 15-year-old student, Mr. Yiannis Marakakis, points out to protothema.gr that “from the first moment I stress to the parents how lucky they are that their son is here with us. In a country whose 70% is coastline it is unthinkable that we still do not have education but also an adequate control system for speedboat operators. The specific perpetrator made dangerous maneuvers many hours before the tragic incident while everyone knew that he and his company were consuming alcohol. We’re lucky we didn’t have any deaths. The parents expect the obvious from the prosecutor’s office and unfortunately they are very disappointed by the objections presented.”
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