UPDATE: Two dead after helicopter crashes into Aegean Sea near Greece

UPDATE: Two dead after helicopter crashes into Aegean Sea near Greece. Image: Ivan Cholakov/Shutterstock.com

FOLLOWING an extensive rescue mission in the Aegean Sea near Greece on Wednesday, July 13, two people were found dead as a result of a helicopter crash.

UPDATE 7.45 am (July 14) – A Soviet-era Mi-8 helicopter leased from Ukraine was carrying “four people on board” when it crashed into the Aegean Sea near Greece on Wednesday, July 13 while taking part in a forest fire-fighting operation on the island of Samos.

After early reports suggested that “two people [had been] rescued” by patrol boats, it was later confirmed that two people had died.

Speaking to the Associated Press, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said that a Romanian national and a Greek liaison officer died in the crash, while two Moldovan nationals survived.

The spokeswoman said that ‘nine vessels, five from the Coast Guard, two from the army and two private, as well as a helicopter, were deployed to assist with the rescue mission’.

Photos circulating online show the moment the helicopter crashed into the water.


ORIGINAL 6.30 pm (July 13) – An urgent rescue mission is underway in the Aegean Sea near Greece after a helicopter taking part in a forest fire-fighting operation plunged into the water.

A helicopter “with three or four people on board” crashed into the Aegean Sea near Greece on Wednesday, July 13 while taking part in a forest fire-fighting operation on the island of Samos.

According to local media, it was a rented Mi8 helicopter carrying one Romanian person, two Moldovans and a Greek translator.

Early reports suggest that “two people were rescued” by patrol boats and the hunt is on to find the missing two crew members, as reported by Greek public television Ert.

“A rescue operation is underway after a helicopter involved in fighting a forest fire in Samos crashed,” a fire service official said.

The helicopter took off at 4.39 pm but ran into trouble due to high winds as is believed to have crashed around 5.55 pm 17:55.

The fire that the helicopter was tackling is still raging, according to the local fire department.

“The fire that broke out today at noon in a forest area in the Paleochori area of ​​Samos is ongoing and strong ground and air forces are working,” they said.

“During the aerial firefighting operation, an ER-MH4 type helicopter hired by the Fire Brigade, with a crew of four people, of which three foreigners and one citizen who acted as a liaison, fell in the sea area of ​​Agios Minas, near the beach of Plaka, N. D. of Samos Island.”

It added: “The helicopter took off from Samos airport.

“During the course of the search and rescue operation, one crew member was rescued, while searches continue to locate the other three crew members.”

Currently, there are fires raging in Portugal and France on Wednesday, July 13.

Residents in Quinta Do Lago, Portugal have been evacuated from their homes due to a huge blaze in nearby woodland.

While the same is currently happening in La Teste-de-Buch in Gironde, France. Around 6,000 holidaymakers have been forced to evacuate the area after the fires broke out.


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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