Strong winds of up to 55 miles per hour make evacuation of the ferry difficult. The ship is located about 44 nautical miles from Corfu. Planes, helicopters, and seven ships in the area are assisting in rescue operation. At least 150 passengers are reported to have reached life boats, and some 30 are safely aboard a nearby container ship. Priority is being given to women and children in the operation. Greek Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis tells reporters:
We are doing everything we can to save those on board and no one, no one will be left helpless in this tough situation. It is one of the most complicated rescue operations that we have ever done.