Dramatic Picture on Greek Island: 2,500 people were evacuated by sea with Coast Guard boats

The blaze on Greek island Rhodes is one of hundreds to have broken out across Greece the last week, fueled by tinder dry conditions as a second heat wave takes hold of the country.

The blaze in Rhodes was just one, the most dangerous, of several active across Greece. The fire on the Greek island of Rhodes has forced authorities to order an evacuation.

The operation of the Coast Guard in Rhodes is in full swing with the assistance of more than 40 private boats to evacuate citizens and tourists from the burning areas of the island. Greek Coast Guard spokesman Nikos Alexiou spoke to Greek media about the contribution of ships to the Rhodes fire.

According to the spokesman, Nikos Alexiou, who spoke to Greek ERT and Open tv, about 2,000 to 2,500 people have been extricated so far with the assistance of the Coast Guard and private boats and have been transferred to the port of Rhodes.

At the same time, three passenger ferries have arrived at the port of Rhodes in order to accommodate those evacuated from the areas where the fire is raging in areas of the island.

The Coast Guard forces fought their own battle in the fire raging in Rhodes, extricating 2,500 people by sea.

As of Saturday noon, the evacuation operation from the areas of Kiotari and Lardos is in full swing. According to what Nikolaos Alexiou, spokesman of the Hellenic Coast Guard, told SKAI TV, five boats and more than 40 private boats contributed to the operation by extricating 1,000 to 1,500 people, who were transferred to Kalathos and then by land have been transferred to Rhodes.

“At the same time, two inflatable boats with members of the Hellenic Coast Guard scanned the surrounding areas in case they needed to be evacuated from another beach, while a helicopter of the Hellenic Coast Guard was carrying out aerial surveillance.

Subsequently, an order was given by the minister and three passenger ferries were at the port of Rhodes which had the capacity to accommodate 1100 people,” said the spokesman of the Coast Guard.

After the evacuation of a hotel in Kiotari, the Coast Guard sent two boats of the coast guard and four private boats to extricate people, who were transferred to the port of Rhodes.

“Late at night until dawn there was an evacuation operation in Gennadi with two boats of the Hellenic Coast Guard, three inflatable boats of the Greek army, two private speedboats, two tugs and four tourist boats,” he said.

Greek Minister of Citizen Protection Notis Mitarachis said “In the last 24 hours I want to say a big “thank you” to the men and women of Hellenic police from the bottom of my heart. From the first moment they were on the fire fronts, evacuating areas, protecting animals and human lives, while the executives of the Greek fire department fought with self-sacrifice to bring the fires under control. I also want to thank the Armed Forces and Hellenic Coast Guard for their contribution.”

Greece – like a number of other European countries – saw a prolonged spell of extreme heat earlier this month.

The latest heatwave comes at one of the busiest times for the country’s tourism industry.