Greek forest fire survivor tells of dramatic flight, rescue

RAFINA, Greece (AP) — One of the survivors of major forest fires that ravaged a seaside area of Greece has given a dramatic account of how he fled from the fire, swimming into the sea to escape the flames and choking smoke only to get swept away by the current. He was rescued by a fishing boat but saw other members of his group drown.

Nikos Stavrinidis had gone to his summer home in the Mati area near Rafina with his wife to prepare it for his student daughter who was coming to stay. Before he knew it, the fire surrounded him.

“It happened very fast. The fire was in the distance, then sparks from the fire reached us. Then the fire was all around us,” Stavrinidis told The Associated Press.