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INCIDENT ON BOARD EUROFERRY OLYMPIA: THE GRIMALDI GROUP RESPONDS TO ALLEGATIONS FROM GREEK TRUCKERS UNION
Naples, 20 February 2022: With regards to recent allegations from the Greek Union of Professional Truck Drivers (SEOFAE) concerning the poor conditions of travelling of their members onboard the Euroferry Olympia, which took fire on the night of the 18th of February, the Grimaldi Group wishes to make the following statement.

Like other vessels of the Grimaldi Group, the Euroferry Olympia undergoes regular cleaning and sanitation of both cabins and common areas while maintenance works are commonplace. The good conditions of the vessel were, in fact, confirmed last 16th of February in Igoumenitsa, where the Euroferry Olympia underwent a Port State Control inspection (smoke detection and firefighting systems included) by Greek authorities, which ended with satisfactory results.

According to international regulations (SOLAS Convention, etc.), access to the garage decks by passengers is absolutely forbidden, while the vessel is in navigation. This safety rule is strictly applied by Grimaldi Group vessels. Moreover, in order to make sure that such rule is observed by all passengers onboard, particularly by truck drivers, the cargo area evacuation is checked before departure and designated crew teams regularly patrol the garage decks during navigation.

If any truck driver decides fraudulently to hide himself in his truck, this behaviour is a flagrant offense against International Regulations and Grimaldi rules which can put at risk his own and the ship’s safety.

With regards to allegations by SEOFAE of an overbooking of the Euroferry Olympia in Igoumenitsa on the night of the 18th of February, this is another inaccurate statement, as the electronic booking system (for freight and passengers) of the Grimaldi Group does not allow any overbooking. In the particular case of passengers, only 42% of the passenger capacity was occupied during the voyage of the Euroferry Olympia of last 18th of February.

In terms of passenger accommodation, the 77 cabins (equivalent to 308 beds) and 409 reclining seats of the vessel could easily and comfortably accommodate the 239 passengers (159 of which drivers) that were travelling onboard (for a journey of 9 hours and not 25 hours as wrongly stated by the Union).

It is important to mention that, as in all vessels of the Grimaldi Group, a certain number of cabins were allocated to truck drivers in order to satisfy their needs. In this respect, all 159 drivers present onboard had a cabin accommodation as well as 26 other passengers.

Finally, allegations that the Euroferry Olympia transporting trucks carrying hazardous freight could not transport passengers too, this is once again an inaccurate statement as the said vessel is a ro/pax unit, certified to carry both passengers and freight, including IMO cargo.


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