Halls were crowded with people in panic, looking for lifejackets, and some ran from public areas back to their cabins to retrieve their lifejackets. But some passengers complained of an insufficient supply of life vests, little guidance from crew members and being forced into a steep climb down rope-ladders to safety.
Everyone says they had visions of the Titanic in their minds. But, most said they felt better once on deck with their lifejacket and could see shore was less than a mile away.
Greek authorities have now charge the captain and key officers in the sinking. The captain, chief mate, second mate, third mate, chief cabin steward, and housekeeper of the Greek-flagged vessel were arrested after the accident, a Merchant Marine Ministry spokeswoman said.
The six officers were charged with causing a shipwreck through negligence, breaching international shipping safety regulations and polluting the environment, state NET said. All were released pending further investigations. The ministry spokeswoman had said the captain and the five others were appearing before the prosecutor on the nearby island of Naxos.
The country’s tourism minister said those responsible for the accident “will be held accountable in the strictest way.”
There are 9 videos of the sinking HERE
UPDATE: JUNE 18, 2007
Greece levied a fine against the cruise line of $1.57 million for the environmental impact of the sinking.
Vassilis Mamaloukas, an environmental engineer leading the clean-up for contractor Environmental Protection Engineering SA, said the operation is going "very smoothly."
"My personal assessment is that most of the fuel has already seeped out of the tanks, judging by the quantities we have picked up on the surface. We have collected some 250-300 tons, and a quantity has also been gathered on the coast."
UPDATE: August 28, 2007
Parents and passengers from Georgia and North Carolina filed suit against Louis Hellenic Cruise line from Greece and EF Travel, Inc. from Cambridge Massachusetts for the sinking of the Sea Diamond.
On August 21, 2007, the law office of Todd Krouner filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, in White Plains, New York, on behalf of passengers who were aboard the M/S Sea Diamond ("Sea Diamond") in Greece, which crashed, and sank on April 5 and 6, 2007 respectively.
The related cases are pending in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, and are filed under civil docket number 07-CV-3665.
UPDATE: September 20, 2007
Uncollected fuel trapped in the sunken cruise ship Sea Diamond off the island of Santorini is a time bomb for the marine environment and has started to escape from the ship’s tanks into other parts of the vessel, according to experts.
Oil from the cruise ship, which sunk in April close to the island’s port, has yet to be siphoned off as authorities are still searching for a way to safely drain the 400 tons of diesel.
Experts said the fuel has remained trapped in the vessel but has started to seep into other parts of the ship, such as passenger rooms.
Divers are taking video footage of the sunken ship as an investigation continues into the conditions surrounding the accident which resulted in the death of two French tourists.
The sinking of Costa Concordia on january 13, 2012 off the coast of Italy after also ramming a reef near the coast, with 4,000 aboard is here.