Sailing Coaches save stranded locals amidst wildfire emergency in Greece

Stranded Locals

Aug 4, 2023

The rescue of over 130 people from wildfires by coaches at a youth sailing world championship has been hailed as “a truly outstanding example of the best qualities of our sport” by World Sailing Chief Executive Officer David Graham.

As extreme heat and wildfires continue to engulf Mediterranean coastlines, sailing coaches at the ILCA 4 Youth World Championships in Volos, Greece came together in an Herculean effort to save local lives with a beach rescue operation.

Witnessing the scene from across the water as racing concluded, coaches jumped into their motorised support boats and headed for the nearby village to evacuate residents and local native wildlife from the beach after fires blocked all exits from the area on the mainland.

Without hesitation, the coaches grabbed bottles of drinking water and travelled the 10 miles across the bay to Nea Anchialos, Magnesia at full speed. Around 60 boats saved more than 130 people from the beach and brought them back to Volos.

Andrus Poksi, Field Operations Officer at the International Laser Class Association, said, “The selfless and quick reaction of the coaches was inspiring to see.

“Their contribution to help the local people shows that sailing is a sport where teamwork and camaraderie shines through in even the most challenging circumstances.

“I would expect nothing less from the sailors and coaches and we will always do anything we can to help those in danger.”

Labis Tsoukalas, President of Nautical Club of Volos and Argonauts, said, “When we got the call for help from the coast guard, I knew we had the right people and equipment for the job.

“We’re very proud to have been able to contribute to the lifesaving operation in the way we know best as sailors.

“We have very talented and qualified coaches working at these types of events. It’s credit to them that we were able carry out the rescue successfully.”

David Graham, World Sailing CEO, praised the efforts, saying, “This is a truly outstanding example of the best qualities of our sport – resourcefulness, courage and a strong sense of responsibility for our wider coastal communities.

“Sailing is a global family, and we are proud to be able to help those in need. All of the coaches deserve the highest praise and – on behalf of World Sailing – I commend them for their actions.

“We all hope that the fires across Greece subside quickly, and the communities impacted remain safe.”

For the past week, areas in central Greece have been threatened by wildfires following a heatwave where temperatures reached 47 degrees Celsius, causing the ILCA 4 Youth World Championships to pause while the heat subsided.

All sailors and coaches are unharmed, and the city of Volos is considered by Local Authorities to be the safest place in the area.

For more information about the event, please visit the 2023 ILCA 4 Youth World Championship website, or the Hellenic Sailing Federation YouTube Channel.

Related Posts





NMMA Canada’s Day on the Hill event hits a new high in 2024

CMRA

While the Day on the Hill lobby session has been a key activity for NMMA Canada for many years now, I feel that the event hit a new high in the 2024 session in Ottawa on May 27 and 28th.

Lead by Executive Director Marie-France MacKinnon and executed by her team and their public affairs firm, BlueSky Strategy Group, the results were impressive. The NMMA Canada Board of Directors were organized into teams with business interests and special skills matched up to politicians and senior bureaucrats to most effectively present the marine industry’s agenda of issues. 

Read More




Need to Catch up on News This Week?

Every Tuesday we publish a fresh Digest with informative articles pertaining to the Canadian boating and marine industry. Stay up to date with the latest products, research and industry developments.

Missed an Issue of Boating Industry Canada News Week? If you’re looking for a specific issue, or simply want to catch up on previous issues, check out our Boating Industry Canada News Week Archives.

Not signed up for News Week? Subscribe here.



The Hydrobike, a key concept that embodies a vision for the future

DECATHLON, determined to erase the boundary between land and water, introduces its latest forward-thinking concept: the HydroBike. This innovation from the French sports giant aims to democratize access to nature while staying ahead in the transformation of their business model. 

The initial assessment: paddle sports are often inaccessible to less experienced individuals, assuming the acquisition of paddling skills.

Read More


Compass works when electronics don’t

Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers

Even in the event of an onboard power failure, a Ritchie Navigation SuperSport Helmsman SS-1002 magnetic compass still works. Plus, when the vessel is moving slowly in fog or while trolling, it can do something a GPS can’t: show the actual heading in real time. As a back-up to modern electronics, it’s a vital navigational tool that belongs on every commercial and recreational boat.

Read More