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Polish mother and son die while fleeing wildfires in Athens

Two Polish nationals, a mother and her son, have died following the wildfires raging in North-East Athens on Monday.Their bodies were found in the sea and most probably were drowned when the boat they used together with other tourist to flee the fire capsized.

“They were on the boat among other people evacuated. Later, their bodies were found in the water. The tragedy is being investigated by the local police,” a representative from the Grecos travel agency said.

Their boat has reportedly capsized after they evacuated a hotel in Mati, one of the areas most hit by the wildfires.

According to Polish commercial radio rmf24, “the victims probably died during the evacuation of the Ramada hotel near Mati on the Greek Mediterranean coast.”

The death of the Polish mother and son was confirmed by the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw.

The man who lost his family is under the care of the Grecos travel agency.

Janusz Smigielski, spokesman of the Grecos travel agency, the victims were traveling with, informed that the agency was in constant contact with the embassy and insurance company. It has also provided a psychologist care for the victims’ family members.

According to the agency representative, there are currently 435 Polish customers in the area of Attica. 30 of them are planning to return to Poland on Wednesday, while 400 are in areas away from the wildfires.

There is no information about other Polish nationals being hurt so far.

Greece is one of the top holiday destinations for Polish tourists.

According to Greek authorities on Tuesday afternoon, 74 people have died in the wild fires, more than 180 were injured, while the number of missing is estimated to be more than 50 people.

Many people jumped in the sea or left on a boat in an effort to save themselves from the fire.

Video: Sea rescue at night

A reporter on board of a ferry approaching the port of Rafina described the rescue operation of a couple of Danish tourists late on Monday. The ferry was reportedly ordered by authorities order to stop and rescue the people swimming for their lives. “They were rescued 1.2 nautical miles off the port,” the reporter said. The couple said they jumped into the sea to escape the inferno and were drifted away from the currents. They said that more people were swimming for their lives.

He later posted pictures from the rescue on Facebook.

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