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(using google translate)
- The fire broke out in the garage of the ship at dawn Sunday and has not gone out yet
- Seven ships have rushed to the area and have created a circle to "protect" the Norman Atlantic waves - 478 total passengers remain on board 422 - 56meles crew
- Windy southerly winds over 8 Beaufort and hail sweep area
- They have already rescued more than 40 passengers who managed to get into lifeboats - The captain of Cruse Europa coordinates now
- The rest remain on board - No information on missing persons
- "Our psychology kinked" said the truck driver NewsIt aboard the ship
THE CAPTAIN - "The ferry on fire is ungovernable and is drifting toward the Albanian coast," said the captain of the vessel in contact with the operations center of harbor. The fire is still in place, according to the commander there are flames, but contained.
Greek Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said the very bad weather, with winds of up to 55 miles (88 kilometres) per hour earlier, made the operation extremely difficult.
"We are doing everything we can to save those on board and no one, no one will be left helpless in this tough situation," he told reporters. "It is one of the most complicated rescue operations that we have ever done."
Command of the operation was transferred to Italy after the ship drifted out of Greek waters but officials were coordinating closely and an Albanian coastguard vessel was also taking part.
A coastguard official said nearby passenger and container ships had attempted to form a ring around the burning vessel to try to form a windbreak to allow small rescue boats to approach, but the rough seas made the manoeuvre difficult.
She recalled the ship alarm going off and seeing fire from her cabin. "Then we heard explosions," she said. It was not immediately clear what the explosions were, and the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.