Visitors to Greece appear to be unaware of heatwave dangers, rescuers warn Greece

With Greece exposed to unusually high temperatures, concerns are growing that foreign visitors are not aware of or are not properly informed of the risks posed by excessive stress in scorching temperatures.

Over the past week, three search and rescue operations have been launched for tourists lost during trips on remote islands, including one for popular TV presenter Michael Mosley, who was found dead on Symi Island.

Mosley had set out in sweltering temperatures on a hike that would prove fatal when, after going the wrong way, he ended up embarking on what his wife, Dr Claire Bailey, described as an “incredible climb” through the rugged hills. Despite a large-scale search operation involving patrol boats, divers, helicopters, firefighters, police, drones and a specially trained police dog, it took five days before the 67-year-old’s body was discovered, because he collapsed in an area where he lived. It cannot be seen easily. It is believed that record-breaking heat played a major role in Mosley’s death.

In recent days, emergency services were also called to two other remote islands, Samos and Amorgos, to search for an elderly Dutch man and an American citizen who disappeared while hiking.

Eric Calebet, 59, a retired Los Angeles police officer and regular visitor to Amorgos Island, was last seen on Tuesday taking a solo trip across the Cycladic island. He had set out at 7am for a four-hour hike, on a day when temperatures were set to exceed 37 degrees Celsius. By late Thursday, nearly 48 hours after the friend he was staying with reported his failure to return to police, Calebet was still missing. His last known contact is believed to be a message he sent from his mobile phone to his sister.

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The search operation on Samos – which involved a rescue team, four drones, a sniffer dog brought from Athens and a Frontex helicopter belonging to the European border control agency – also failed to find the 74-year-old Dutch national, who similarly launched a search for five… People. – An hour trip when he disappeared.

Dimitris Katatzis, who heads the rescue team on Samos, said the missions are often made more difficult because tourists, often unaware of the dangers, “get off track” to see the sites and then get lost. “Yesterday we saw a couple [of foreigners] “Walking the 41 degree trail without hats,” he told local media. “It defies logic.”

Greece, a Mediterranean hotspot on the frontline of the climate emergency, has seen increasingly high temperatures, with a record high of 48C set last summer.

This year, in what the National Weather Service, EMY, described as the first record high temperatures actually recorded at this point in the season. Schools were closed and the Ministry of Culture was forced to close the Acropolis and other archaeological sites to visitors. Red Cross volunteers distributed thousands of free bottles of water, and the municipality of Athens set up cooling stations. In the city of Chania on the island of Crete, the temperature reached 44.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday.

The extreme heat and the dangers it poses have spurred demands for better maintenance and signage on the trails.

“I would like to see more surveillance cameras and lighting of these lanes,” said Eleftherios Papakaloudoka, the mayor of Symi. “If there is a lesson to be learned from tragedy [of Mosley’s death]The problem is that these trails need better care so that people don’t get lost. Mosley did not have a mobile phone when he set out on his career.

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Local officials have also called for tourists to be better informed, with a city councilor on the island of Chios saying that hiking clubs in remote areas that have the knowledge and capacity to improve trails should be better supported financially and technically to ensure trails are less dangerous. .

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