Britons hurt as Kos ferry crashes into jetty

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The Independent Online

A Turkish-flagged catamaran carrying 213 passengers crashed into a jetty today on the eastern Aegean island of Kos, and 25 people were injured, most of them British tourists, authorities said.

Five of those hurt sustained serious injuries in the accident, which occurred as the boat was trying to dock at the Kos port, the Merchant Marine Ministry said.

The ship may have suffered a mechanical failure, and crashed twice into the jetty, according to deputy island mayor David Gerasklis, adding that the cause of the crash was still under investigation.

"After one attempt, it returned with greater force and crashed into the dock for a second time. Some of the passengers apparently got up to see what happened, and they were injured in the second crash," he said. Some people were injured by glass from windows that shattered in the second collision.

The injured were being treated at an island hospital, while the rest of the passengers had disembarked safely, Gerasklis said.

The boat, known as the Aegean Cat, runs regular trips from Didim in Turkey on Wednesdays.

Kos lies near the Turkish coast, and is a popular destination for day-trippers from Turkey.

(PA) A Thomson and First Choice spokeswoman said: "Thomson and First Choice can confirm that nine of our customers were involved in a minor incident earlier today when the ferry boat on which they were travelling crashed into a port wall.

"The ferry was transporting our customers, as well as other passengers, from Altinkum in Turkey to Kos, on a day trip.

"Following the accident, two of our customers were treated for minor injuries before being accommodated at one of our hotels in Kos until their return transfer back to Turkey this afternoon.

"The safety and well-being of our customers is and will remain our priority at all times and our resort staff have been liaising with customers throughout the day and offering every assistance needed.

"As the ferry was damaged in the collision, alternative transportation has been arranged to return all of our customers back to their resorts in Turkey.

"We hope that they will continue to enjoy their holiday and experience the high levels of quality and standards they expect from Thomson and First Choice."