The 2,560-dwt Blue Sky M (built 1976) never issued a distress call, according to coastguard officials who contradicted earlier news that the ship had sent an SOS as it was sailing two miles off the island of Othonoi, near Corfu, on the Adriatic Sea.

“What happened is that people on board called emergency services to request water, food and blankets,” the coastguard official said.

A Greek navy frigate rushing to the area contacted the captain who denied the ship was in danger.