Greek and foreign tourists have been stranded on the small islands North off Corfu in the Ionian Sea since Saturday. A mechanical failure of the small ferry boat that connect the islands Mavraki, Erikoussa and Othoni with Corfu has halted the service.
By Tuesday, locals are also desperate as they are running out of supplies, while vendors see their fresh products rotten as they cannot bring them over to the islands.
The three islands get their suppliers only through the ferry boat and thus on daily basis.
For the time being the only service available is through a boat operating three times per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). The boat departs from Agios Stefanos port and takes only a limited number of passengers and packages but no cargo and vehicles.
According to a report by corfupress, at least 10 vehicles belonging to visitors and tourists remain stranded on the three islands, while also professional vehicles of constructors or technicians can not leave the islands.
A temporary solution is urgently needed until the ferry boat failure is repaired and its gets the relevant permission by the Coast Guard, notes the local news website.
Local authorities in cooperation with the Coast Guard and the Maritime Ministry are seeking a solution even a temporary one especially for the trasnfer of the vehicles.
One idea is to exceptionally use the Municipality boat that normally transfers garbage and fuel but is not permitted to transfer vehicles.
“It can take weeks until the mechanic failure is repaired and the ferry boat gets the clearance to resume service again,” the website notes.
Speaking to Corfutvnews, the deputy mayor of Mathraki described the situation as “very serious” and stressed the need for a solution. “We ask immediate intervention of the Maritime Ministry for a solution and we hope for a replacement ship soon.”
She underlined that the repair of the ferry boat may take another 10 days.”
Tourists have already started to cancel their bookings on the three islands as they have no access to them, and those few dozens stranded are fearing to miss their flights back home.
Mathraki, Ereikousa and Othoni, also known as Diapontia Islands, live mainly form tourism in summer months.