Rhodes fires: a father from Attleborough describes tourist rescue efforts

Rhodes' Jonathan Lewis

An individual from Norfolk described saving eight "car loads" of tourists from Greek wildfires.

The scenes near Lindos in Rhodes, according to Attleborough freight manager Jonathan Lewis, were like "the end of the world" and "hell on Earth.".

The 62-year-old made the decision to use a rental car to travel to the affected hotels while on vacation with his wife and daughter.

Over the past week, thousands of people have been impacted.

Devastation left after wildfires in Rhodes
Wildfires quickly spread across the island due to the combination of wind, extreme aridity, and high temperatures.
Wildfires affecting hotels in Rhodes
Mr. Lewis claimed that he extricated eight carloads of people from burning hotels.

What Mr. Lewis drove into was "hell on earth," and he described it as being "quite horrific." Mr. Lewis finds it unbelievable that no lives have been lost as of yet.

On Wednesday, he rented a car and headed out of his resort and toward the affected area.

A map of Rhodes affected by wildfires
According to officials, 19,000 people have been evacuated by land and sea, and more are expected to leave three villages—Pefki, Lindos, and Kalathos.

"It was incredible," he continued, "it was like the end of the world.

"Over a hill, literally, everything [had] changed. From everyone having a wonderful holiday blissfully unaware of what was happening just half a mile away, there were people running down roads. ".

He claimed that by saying he was picking up his wife, he was able to convince a police officer to let him drive past a cordon.

Mr. Lewis claimed that he transported up to seven adults and children in each of eight car loads to safety.

The moment some organization entered the situation, he recalled, "I just kept going backwards and forwards until the last of the people were taken away by either myself, buses, or the army who eventually came.".

The family's flight home was scheduled for 23:00 local time on Monday after Mrs. Lewis found them a new hotel room on Sunday night.

Other people have been sleeping on the streets, in abandoned schools, and in gyms and athletic facilities.

On Monday, there were scheduled two EasyJet and three Jet2 repatriation flights from Rhodes to the UK.

According to Mr. Lewis, "My wife and kids thought I was sneaking off to a pub so I made a video just to prove what I was doing.".

"I'm not sure if I was saving their lives; all I know is that I was rescuing them from a highly stressful circumstance.

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