Rough Seas Cause Italian Ferry To Run Aground Off Sicily

Monday, August 13, 2001
An Italian ferry ran aground in the Aeolian Islands off the north coast of Sicily on Sunday night in rough seas, coast guard officials said on Monday.

All 164 people on board were rescued safely, although two people received light injuries and several others were treated for shock.

The boat, a catamaran capable of carrying up to 300 passengers, set off from Naples on Sunday evening on its way to the Aeolian Islands, about 160 miles south.

After dropping off passengers on Stromboli, the twin-hulled vessel set off for Panarea, another small island. But high seas and a force five gale blew it into rocky, shallow waters about a mile from Panarea, the coast guard said.

The ferry hit up against the rocks, piercing the hull and causing the vessel to start sinking slowly. Maritime authorities have opened an investigation into the incident.

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