Mr Channing-Williams later explained that he was woken at about 5am by a fire alarm and said:”By the time we got out on deck the flames were huge. A lot of the cars were on fire. It was actually just very scary to be honest.”
Greek merchant marine minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said that 316 people had been evacuated by early Monday morning, leaving 161 on board, who had been given thermal blankets while they waited to eventually be carried to safety.
Helicopters made 34 rescue sorties overnight in winds of up to 46mph (74kph).
Italian coast guard Admiral Giovanni Pettorino said: “Notwithstanding the weather and the darkness, which is another factor, we persisted throughout the entire night.”