Friday, May 28, 2010

What happened to Captain Yiannis Avranas

I finished reading my copy of "OCEANOS Survivors Stories" by Ian Uys, and now I can't wait to get a copy of "Standby" by Dick Lord and read the story from the rescuers view.  The book OCEANOS survivors stories was fascinating and I cried several times, especially reading the parts about those that were in the Life Boats and what they had to endure in the dark, how one survivor almost lost her child, were it not for a Chinese lady pulling him back in the boat.  How everyone was getting sea sick, my heart went out to all those people, little did we know what they were going through while we sat and waited for the helicopters.  I think those passengers were more traumatized than most of us, they really are the true survivors even though we are all survivors.  A brilliant book which I will read again and again.


So what did happened to Captain Yiannis Avranas, well in the last chapter of the book, the author tells us what happened directly after the sinking and how the Captain was given another boat to command.  I would say he is probably retired now as he was 52 when the Oceanos sank which makes him 71 this year, so thank God he won't be captaining many more ships, however the mere fact that Epirotiki protected him will be my reason never to sail on any ship owned by them ever again.  There are so many questions unanswered, for example did the Captain know the ship was going to sink?  Why did he put everyones lives in danger by sailing into a Gale force storm?

We read time and time again about disasters like this, rust buckets being put to sea but nothing is really ever done about it.  Next time the passengers may not be as lucky as the Oceanos!

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

kaptain yaniis avranas actually was in jail also. You forgott to write that.

Anonymous said...

No he wasn't. Nothing happened to him, other than being assigned to another ship or rather a ferry.

Anonymous said...

Hearing stories like this about the captain and his senior officers leaving first...just reinforces a developing sense of world hatred and disgust with Greece as a nation.

The Greeks have been some of the greatest maritime innovators but their collective sense of entitlement and 35 hour work week resulted in a broad European bailout of their ruptured economy.

Are all Greeks intrinsically lazy cowards ?

Anonymous said...

I used to be a sailor and I remember one of my ship mates, who is "greek", say that the best sailors in the world are the "greek" ones. I wonder if he knows what this cowardly captain did?

Brown English Muffin said...

Just watched the show on Dateline NBC and the entire time I was so mad at the captain, I am so upset that he didn't get a reprimand and demoted from ever being captain again.

els van sambeek said...

I like to no were is yianis avranas living? i like to speak him because i now him from early nice time. i like to speak him.. els van sambeek holland

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 01-03-2011 02:45

shut up your dirty mouth about Greeks you little piece of @@@@ if you dont know.

Im a Greek and i have been in Oceanos for a cruise back in 1987.Im really sorry knowing that this ship sank but im happy all of you guys are alive.wish to all the survivors the best and if Avranas left the ship and didnt do his duty he was so little to become a captain and he should kill himself

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 12 October 2011 19:37

We know Greeks. They are a bunch of boy-loving philosophers, and apparently cowards. The best sailors in the world are Americans. Maybe the Greeks were the best 1000 years ago when they had little wooden boats, but you should leave sailing the big boys to us Americans.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I sail with greeks, they suck and are huge cowards. I have seen captains eat their nails during regular docking and undocking operations and scream their lungs out. Not all of them are like this tough (i was lucky to meet one!).

This is so credible to me since I know the quality of maritime garbage that comes from Chios, and places like this.

I like american seamen but greeks are cheap (relatively) and are not unionized (AMO, MMP, MEBA, SIU, ETC).

Well the maritime world is really bad insofar as quality. Hopefully more lives would not be risked in the future.

TaruV said...

The Americans have no maritime history, heritage or tradition. Everything they know about sailing, seafaring and naval operations they have learned from the Brits - the true kings of the sea.

I know the above comment by a yank is trolling but just thought I'd add my piece. The Greeks were once a great nation. Sadly that is no longer true - but it's not the fault of its people. The gutless, corrupt ppliticians who were prepared to lie, cheat and steal ( and promise anything) to get elected are entirely at fault.

Anonymous said...

With regards to Capt. Aranas, I'd like to make a generalisation.

In Greece, it seems, anything can be had for either a bribe or "doing a favour" with right connections.

Just look at the situation of Greece today. Surely that must be an indication of this very thing.

I suggest that Aranas had to have had "the right connections" in order to be captain of the Oceanos in the first place. So the fact that he was awarded another ship after the sinking of the Oceanos is unremarkable with that thought in mind.

F-E W,
SWEDEN

Anonymous said...

TaruV: "The Americans have no maritime history, heritage or tradition. Everything they know about sailing, seafaring and naval operations they have learned from the Brits - the true kings of the sea."

Sigh, so true. All we have is a dinky little flag on the moon.

Anonymous said...

TaruV: "The Americans have no maritime history, heritage or tradition. Everything they know about sailing, seafaring and naval operations they have learned from the Brits - the true kings of the sea."

Sigh, so true. All we have is a dinky little flag on the moon.

Anonymous said...

Americans have a strong naval tradition starting with the birth of the country. Ignorant people need to read history before making stuff up.

The British wish they had as good a naval tradition as America. The British used the equivalent of slaves on their ships, while American sailors were free-men who were not forced into sea labor.

The British and French held American Sailors in such high regard that they regularly kidnapped them for their navies.

When the British were at war with us, they gave a standing order to run away from the American ships unless they outnumbered them 3-1.

We defeated a Japanese fleet which outnumbered us.

We have 11 aircraft carrier groups which is 11 more than any other country.

You've got to hate America pretty badly to say we have no naval tradition.

Anonymous said...

"We read time and time again about disasters like this, rust buckets being put to sea but nothing is really ever done about it. Next time the passengers may not be as lucky as the Oceanos!"

I was reading about the Costa Concordia debacle that's going on now and started looking up other cruise ship disasters when I read that. Sad to say, I think you completely nailed that one.

Anonymous said...

Oh people....
Here we have an incident of a coward captain evolve in bullshit statements about who are the greatest sailors etc.....

The Human Mind... what a terrible thing to let it go waste....

Anonymous said...

The U.S. has a proud maritime history dating back to its origins, and up until the age of sail ended ran the largest and best fleet in the world. Britain's main claim to maritime fame was its Navy, which maintained its status as king into the early 20th century, but as far as Merchant Marine history goes, ours has a richer history especially in the days after the industrial revolution began. World War II rode on the back of the American Merchant Marine, and the schools run in the U.S., as well as the level of training and knowledge possessed by its officers and unlicensed personnel worldwide today are second to none.

Anonymous said...

Greek Captains seem to be chickenship pussys! It is scarry to look at this man and then at capt. Schittino of the concordia!They could be brothers and they both said about the same things about their conduct during the sinkings.

They should both be imprisoned or shot.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Captain Yiannis Avranas? Given the state of the Greek economy, he's likely been promoted to chief economic advisor.

-- karma

Rosieroo said...

Love this last comment! Absolutely. However I was watching a program the other night on how people deal with stress when it happens, and although Captain Smith (Titanic) went down with his ship, they say that he was frozen to the spot through fear and stress and if he had acted accordingly (for instance like a Moss Hills) a lot more people would have been saved on the Titanic

Rosieroo said...

I don't think the captain from the concoria should be held up for trying to abandon ship but he should be strung up for neglegence, if he hadn't been so close to shore, it would never have happened and no one would have died.

Anonymous said...

Theo Kojak...the only decent Greek in history!!

David Walker said...

Can we all agree on *one* thing, that this captain was reprehensible in not staying with his ship? A story I *can* tell you that I know the truth of, because I knew the man and his eventual demise, about Mike Nerandzic. He trained me as a Class One instrument rated pilot. He was a very experienced Airship Captain eventually, maybe one of the most experienced in modern airship history (and maybe all history). He went out one day when the winds rose more quickly than forecast. In coming in to land; he flared, and the rear of the gondola struck the ground causing a fire in the engine area. The manufacturer had not released a change that resolved possible fuel system damage with this, sadly just a little too late. With only a few passengers, he ordered they jump. With all passengers alighted, the airship immediately rose to a height that no jump could be made. Mike burned to death in the cabin as the airship soared upwards to save his passengers. That is what I call a "Captain" with capital 'C". Regards the pissing contest between yanks and brits over 'who is the best'; there is one thing you can't deny. The yanks have got a reputation over a period for being one's who "Waive the Rules"; e.g. Americas Cup, changing rules to suit them. Americans like to think they are the best at everything, and invented all worthwhile in aviation and the like, but the rest of the world just doesn't believe it. But *we are grateful* for many advances Americans have made and recognize (look I even did it with a 'z' just for you) your leadership (but not in spelling; in that you are just lazy). Consider the Chinese. Did you ever read 1421? It’s likely that the Chinese cartographed most of the world including the Americas, and Columbus followed, plus everyone else - the Dutch, British and all. Get off your high horses everyone. The way some go on, it makes me wonder if you'd be just like Captain Avranas. We are *not* in some kids school yard pissing contest, we are here to help each other!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why no one of them have attempted a process against the owner of that company as he is responsible for who he hire to do the job. This was a pure and simple criminal negligent of abandoning the ship and leaving your customer to fence for them self not even letting them know what they were to face?!?! They should have pursue them collectively so and never happen again.

Wondering Woman said...

We tried, but unfortunately Epirotiki's lawyers were just too powerful and we did not have the money to fight, South Africa is not like America or other countries in the world. The travel company also went bust while we were sinking out at sea, just in time to avoid a lot of law suits, they opened the next day under another name but took no responsibility for the rust bucket it hired and it's so called captain.

Anonymous said...

Of course what happened to this ship is absolutely horrible. But what is also horrible is a lot of people taking cheap punches at a country they don't know that much about (they think they do though). America is trillions....yes thats right TRILLIONS of dollars in debt...thank you to China for keeping us from going bankrupt thus far. Our government (not as much corruption as Greece but yes, does have some corruption) propped up Wall Street and bailed out the banks! So....let's not go wild about putting down other countries. The inflation in the USA could still drag us under and out to sea. Don't hate an entire country and stereotype an entire people. And yes, the Captain of the Oceanos is a terrible man. But I don't think his ethnicity has that much to do with it.

Minjon Dubbaroo said...

Well put Anonymous above, but isn't the world all about stero-typing, I have been told on more than one occasion that all white South Africans are racist, because of apartheid, which of course is not true! I still have to visit Greece and I have a number of Greek friends and would not put them in the same category as the Captain of the Oceanos.

Anonymous said...

I loved the comments about the A erican only learned sailing from the British. Of course they learned sailing from the Romans, who learned sailing from..., yes, the Greeks.

Anonymous said...

Americans are the same butt-lovers as greeks are... the besr sailors in the world should be americans?? Hahaha... the know boats since 250 years, ridicolous ... every nation is better in sailing than the us...

Julia Polychronidou said...

Oh yes it has believe me . I am greek. I know them well. Its was all so tipically greek.

Anonymous said...

THERE WAS A QUESTION ABOUT LEGAL ACTIONS AGAINST THE SHIP OWNERS. BELIEVE ME NOBODY WOULD EVER GET ANY COMPENSATION FROM THAT COMPANY. YOU WOULD NEVER FING YOUR RIGHT IN CORRUPTED GREECE, AT LEAST THAT TIME. I HAVE READ THAT SOMEONE FROM THE COMPANY SAID THAT THEY HAD LOST THREE SHIPS WITHING SHORT TIME. HAS ANYBODY EVER FOUND OUT IF THEY GOT MONEY FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANIES? THAT IS SO GREEK TO BURN OR TO SINK STH IN ORDER TO GET MONEY FROM INS.COMPANY/ I WILL NOT BE SURPRISED IF I LERAN THAT AFTER THAT THEY BOUGHT 3 NEW SHIPS OR A PLANE.

Richard said...

There are some really poor posts on here...

1 - Avranas, and no doubt a number of his senior executive officers should clearly have faced jailtime for their abhorrent and negligent behaviour when things went wrong on the Oceanos. It doesn't matter what country they are from, they were beyond appalling and my heart goes out to Moss Hills and his colleagues and wife who were entirely heroic in saving several hundred lives on their own after the crew abandoned the ship like rats. They have received far too little acknowledgement and reward for their selfless work in clearing the ship and saving lives. (It is noteworthy that they were all very brave Brits that saved the day here!)

2 - to the Americans prattling on about their "naval tradition". You seriously need to read some history books my friends. It is very true to say that the Egyptians and Greeks had an ancient (and proud) seafaring history that disappeared many centuries ago. In more recent times (from the 15th century onwards), this mantle was passed almost exclusively to the English, French and Spanish. It is somewhat surprising that the American contributors seem to have forgotten that they exist exclusively as a result of the colonisation of Northern America by initially the English, Spanish and French, and subsequently by the Dutch and Swedish. Therefore, all and any maritime tradition and history that the yanks lay claim to is as a direct and exclusive result of their colonists; I.e. the English, Spanish and French.

Instead of pretending that you invented sailing and empire building (which the Americans have never done anywhere in the world unless you include that failed attempt that was Vietnam), you'd be better off to thank us for sharing our sailing technology with you and getting you off on your way. You owe most things to the original European settlers after all.

Kind regards

Richard (stiff-assed Brit)

Mamie Too said...

Richard, When you were referring to the poor posts on here, I trust you were referring to the Comments and not my posts ... ?

Anonymous said...

A lot of nations have a seamanship. Don't argue if the Americans are better than Greeks or English or Norwegians etc. This is foolish. I'm in this business and I pay tribute to a lot of nations that are involved. The origin though goes back to ancient Greeks and Phoenitians some thousand years ago.

Anonymous said...

Yes what I see here is all the cowards are the anonymous,
They hiding their names and the nationality!

Rozi from Jozi said...

Just like you then!!!

Anonymous said...

always a pissing match over who has better sailors. most of whom making the comments have never sailed and wouldn't have the balls to make it through a force 10 hurricane which is a regular occurrence. I am a American, I sail on a Russian freighter registered out of Gibraltar. our crew is mixed both by color , country of origin and by religious faith. the country doesn't make a good sailor nor is one better than the other rather the captain and crew make a good ship, we have to keep it together when shit falls apart regardless of color or faith. do you think I give a rats ass who saves me. I don't care if its the Asian or the Dutch or the German. on the ship the crew and captain is my family I have to rely on them and they have to rely on me. when one man fails to follow his orders or maritime law he puts every one in jeopardy and that's something that should never happen. it does but it shouldn't. everyone can piss and moan about who's "better" that's why I left America I got tired of the high horse attitude of Americas shit don't stink and its better than everyone else, the world doesn't revolve around American citizens or their government unfortunately because most people will never see 30 countries in their life let alone more than 2 on vacations they will fail to realize their country is nothing in the eyes of the world just as the rest of the world is irrelevant to America. its the nature of division. I don't care about any of it, the ocean is my home, the ocean is my country. all the mindless assholes can fight about who's better. in the end it may be the guy or country who's not as good as you who winds up saving your ass in a disaster. but then im sure all the "where better then you" crowed will have no problem refusing help from a nobody and going to the bottom of the ocean because if your better then why cry for help in a disaster from a nobody. mother fucking hypocrites everywhere until it slaps them in the face. after that they still talk shit. why ? because you cant fix stupid.

Anonymous said...

America has enough tradition to have sailed away from Great Britain, escaping and then kicking their ass in the war of independence.

I guess the escape and subsequent win escapes the arrogant Brits here.

Remember, if it weren't for the Americans you decry, you'd be speaking German today.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. I know nothing about ships or sailing but a sensible moral code would be for a captain to lead a rescue and be the last off a sinking ship. What shocks me even more are some response posts here - negative comments about different countries and some ridiculous 'competition' about which county is best at sea. Ugly human nature, in every country. But, the best thing about this story is the true rescuers and the courage, love and strength that humans also display. So regardless of what country you are from, it's great that us humans have this capacity to put others first, to help people, to love.

keñy pieske said...

So true. Just lost my temper over what you're saying. You are 100 per cent right.

Charles said...

I am a skipper and can agree that our marine tradition goes only back to 1776, not 3000 BC as maybe the Greeks and some others can claim. That said, even a casual reading of our history will convince you that remarks on this page about US Naval fitness is hogwash. It was only an effective, superior fleet, attacking the British as well as running their blockades, that gave us victory in the Revolution. Some of you may have heard of John Paul Jones, the wounded US Captain at the edge of defeat who replied to the British Admiral, "I have not yet begun to fight" then went on to defeat the British fleet.

The United States Navy patrols and protects more that two thousand miles of coast line facing two oceans 24 hours a day. Get your facts straight.

Joe M said...

Hey guys rather than denigrating other maritime let's discuss what traits a real, valuable maritime commander must have. My favorite naval commanders from history would have to be.

1. Admiral Yi Sun-sin from Korea, in my opinion the greatest naval commander to ever step foot on a boat. If you haven't heard of him his wiki is pretty in depth.

2. Horatio Nelson, of course

3. Admiral Togo of Japan.

Every nation produces heroes and villains, rather than letting blind nationalistic pride bias your views, why can't we all celebrate the heroes from every nation? Generally speaking, generalizations are always wrong, generally.

Anonymous said...

America became a nation because of the fighting irish. They are responsible for winning all the important battles. And it was John Barry from Wexford who lent his merchant ships to George Washington to form the first American navy.

Anonymous said...

As we must know from current and past events all over the world, there are people who show the very worse of human existence. On the flip side, people who go beyond what even they know, of themselves, and achieve heroic acts as we see both in the story of Oceanos. You will find heros and cowards in every race, in every country, in every city and sometimes in every family. If you look at this story, it was a great act of love that saved the passengers of this sinking ship. I believe that Love can do things we, ourselves, cannot image......the world is sinking. Everyone should ask themselves, which person am I in this story.

Anonymous said...

I read that this piece-of-garbage capt said "when I say abandon ship I mean EVERYBODY and those that LIKE to stay can stay" and the fact he didn't send a distress signal is DEPLORABLE to say the least. If someone had died, he would have been guilty of manslaughter. As an American, I know a few Greeks and the men are arrogant pigs and the women are spoiled self-centered mean bitches. They have sewage running in the street curbs cuz no self-righteous Greek would clean it up and they practically enslave the poorest of the poor to clean their disgusting cities. Never going any where near Greece, but I wish they would all go back home. Swine they are.

Bob said...

1. America has a robust seafaring tradition that includes John Paul Jones, the invention and perfection of the clipper ship (the greatest ships in the world from 1840 to 1870, invented in Baltimore), the invention of the ironclad warship, the magnificent performance of the U.S. Navy in World War II, the invention of the nuclear-powered submarine - well, the list is pretty damn long.

2. I might also mention, as part of the American seafaring tradition, the fact that of the 200,000 Americans who served in the merchant marine during WW II (keeping Britain alive), 8,000 died, a higher mortality rate than even the U.S. Marines.

3. Someone here writes, "Any maritime tradition and history that the yanks lay claim to is as a direct and exclusive result of their colonists; I.e. the English, Spanish and French." This is false. The American naval tradition was forged during the American Revolutionary War by John Paul Jones and his pals, who knew they were helping to create a new nation, and were thrilled and energized by that fact. Some significant percentage of their greatness derived NOT from the colonial experience but from a THROWING OFF of the colonial experience, i.e., from the NEW REPUBLIC experience, i.e., the chance to create a naval service that drew on the best of the colonial experience but thought in fresh ways about every aspect of weaponry, tactics and strategy.

4. I fail to see a strong connection between the radical design ideas of America's Joshua Humphreys, on the one hand, and the colonial experience on the other. (I recommend a reading of the Wikipedia article "USS Constitution.") I also fail to see any strong connection between the clipper ships and the colonial experience, the ironclads and the colonial experience, the H.L. Hunley and the colonial experience (first submarine to sink an enemy vessel, 1864), Teddy Roosevelt's extraordinary grasp of the importance of the sea and the colonial experience (TR was father of the modern U.S. Navy; he was inspired by the scholarship of American historian Alfred Thayer Mahan).

5. The cowardice of the Greek captain doesn't tell me anything about the nation of Greece. What tells me something about the nation of Greece is the fact that he got off scot-free, i.e., there's apparently zero accountability in Greek courts. (The captain of the Costa Concordia, which ran aground and sank in 2012, got a 16-year sentence from the Italian courts.)

5. Speaking as someone who has worked on cruise ships, and loves them dearly and wants them to thrive, I want a Norwegian on the bridge at all times. Second choice: American. Third: Brit. Anyone else: I'm staying home.