Divers Search for Missing Sea Diamond Passengers

April 6, 2007
Louis Cruise Lines' Sea Diamond: A Brief History
Under the Captain's Table's Joyce Weighs In
Greek Ship Sinks; Two Passengers Missing
Passengers Evacuate Listing Greek Cruise Ship

The search is on for two passengers unaccounted for after the evacuation of Louis Cruise Lines' Sea Diamond, which ran aground off the coast of Santorini yesterday and, 15 hours later, sank.

According to the Associated Press, Navy divers searched around the sunken wreckage for a Frenchman and his daughter, the only two passengers still missing. A spokesman for the line tells us that the ship and the surrounding areas were explored. As time goes on, it becomes less likely they'll be found; the hope is that the pair is on land and will eventually turn up.

Louis Cruise Lines says in an official statement that the two passengers -- Jean-Christophe Allain, 45, and his 16-year-old daughter, Maud, according to the AP -- were reported missing by a French tour group leader; those two members of his group had not been in contact with him since the rescue operation.

Joyce Gleeson-Adamidis, author of If I Were Not Upon the Sea and Cruise Critic's Under the Captain's Table column, is currently in Naxos, Greece, a half-hour outside of Santorini. "We were watching on the TV as it was happening," she tells us. "A large group of rescue personnel from Naxos went to help as it is one of the larger islands close by that could get there quickly. Coast Guard helicopters, nearby navy ships all came to help them. They are still talking and trying to find out about the father and daughter missing from France. The divers have been down all day today. The ship went aground along the cliff area of Santorini; though it is deep in this area, rocks are still a danger."

To read more from Joyce Gleeson-Adamidis, click here.

The other major issues to be dealt with in the aftermath of the incident are figuring out exactly how and why the ship sank -- and how the environment will be affected. The Athens News Agency reports that special barriers have been placed around the sunken ship to deflect the spillage of vessel fuels, expected to begin leaking from fuel tanks. Such an oil spill would threaten Santorini's sea environment with "devastating consequences."

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor