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20 Jul 2024 13:18
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  •   Home > News > Living & Travel

    Yacht crew and passengers arrested after fireworks allegedly spark pine forest blaze on Greek island

    Greek authorities arrest 13 yacht crew members and passengers after a forest fire allegedly sparked by fireworks launched from the boat.

    Greek authorities have arrested 13 yacht crew members and passengers after fireworks launched from the vessel allegedly sparked a forest fire on the island of Hydra.

    Firefighters got the blaze under control early on Saturday, after struggling to contain dozens of wildfires fanned by gale-force winds across the islands and southern parts of Greece's mainland.

    According to Greece's Climate Crisis Minister Vassilis Kikilias, the flames burned 300 acres of Hydra's only pine forest, in the remote area of Bisti, before firefighters contained it.

    In a Facebook post, firefighters noted that the blazing pine forest was in a "rough spot" with "no road", so they deployed a ship to extinguish it from the harbour.

    "The arrests come after allegations that the forest fire was sparked by fireworks launched from the yacht on Friday night," an official with knowledge of the issue told Reuters.

    The official said the passengers and crew were arrested at a marina in the Athens area, about 80 kilometres from Hydra.

    "We are outraged," Hydra Mayor George Koukoudakis told state TV.

    "If it's true, it is something that really saddens me."

    The mayor also chastised the yacht passengers and crew to Greek broadcaster ERT.

    "We are indignant that some people so irresponsibly throw fireworks into a pine forest," he said.

    The arrested crew members and passengers were scheduled to appear before a prosecutor, the fire department said. It did not identify the yacht or the individuals.

    Mr Kikilias said the public prosecutor also called for the yacht to be confiscated.

    Hydra, located south-west of Athens in the Saronic Gulf, is popular among foreign visitors and those travelling on yachts.



    © 2024 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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