Italian and Greek rescue crews have saved 290 out of 478 people from the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic, a roro/passenger ferry that caught fire off the coast of Greece in the early hours of Sunday, the Italian Navy reports.
One Greek man died, and four people have been reported as injured, but the extent of their injuries is unknown so far.
After the initial rescue efforts were impeded by bad weather which made it impossible for other ships to approach the fire stricken ferry, Italian and Greek helicopter crews started airlifting operations Sunday afternoon.
A medical team and a flight operator have been dispatched to the vessel to assist the remaining 188 people still waiting to be airlifted.
The Italian Navy is coordinating the rescue operation, while the Norman Atlantic is being towed to the Italian port of Brindisi.
The Norman Atlantic is owned by the Italian company VISEMAR di Navigazione S.R.L. and chartered to ANEK Lines S.A. At the time of the accident, the vessel was on the Patras – Igoumenitsa – Ancona route, 35 miles north of Corfu, sailing in international waters with 422 passengers and 56 crew on board.–World Maritime News