Fires in Greece: Leeds visitor is happy to be back home

Westwood, Calum

A Leeds visitor who was on vacation in Rhodes said he was worried he wouldn't "make it" home as wildfires raged throughout the Greek island.

On Sunday, Calum Westwood said he was "glad to be back" in the UK after his return flight from Canada.

After touching down in Manchester, he remarked, "We had ash dropping on our shoulders and there was a lot of smoke around.

Rescue operations are underway, and Jet2 and EasyJet have scheduled return flights for Monday and Tuesday.

Mr. Westwood was on vacation in the Lindos region, but since Tuesday, as Europe struggles with a difficult heatwave, the island has been beset by wildfires that have been fanned by strong winds.

Burning island
According to James McMahon, he saw smoke and fire filling the sky above hills that looked out over the sea.

Roads out of the area were blocked, he claimed, and the travel operator had given him "no information.".

"The hotel just kept reassuring me that everything would be fine. And nobody made any comments. ".

Although Mr. Westwood claimed to have made it to the airport, he was concerned he might miss his flight home.

Since the smoke was coming over the hill and everyone was concerned about the smoke damage, he said, "when we were waiting for a bus to be taken back to the airport, we didn't know if the bus transfers were being cancelled or whether we were going to make it.".

He said that once at the airport, he joined about 1,000 other travelers who were also sleeping on the floor after experiencing flight delays that could have lasted up to 12 hours.

When Mr. Westwood and I arrived at Manchester Airport on Sunday, we were already lying on the marble floor with our bags.

We're happy to be back, so. ".

James and Danielle McMahon
James and Danielle McMahon expressed gratitude to college students and hotel staff for assisting them with their evacuation.

James McMahon and his wife Danielle, who were vacationing, thanked the young people who assisted them in getting out of the Pefkos hotel where they were staying. Both are from Bradford.

He claimed that the couple was informed via the TV in their room and directed to a location on the neighborhood beach.

Although we were about three kilometers away from the fire, we could still see it raging on the hills that overlooked the sea and see thick black smoke filling the sky.

"When we arrived at the beach, the guests from our hotel were generally in good spirits and very composed, which I can only attribute to the hotel staff's expertise and authoritative leadership. ".

As the hotel was being evacuated, Mr. McMahon claimed he had seen "grown men [holidaymakers] fighting in the lobby.".

Alert on a TV screen reading: andquot;LEAVE THE HOTEL NOW!"
A warning to evacuate was displayed on the couple's room TV.

He claimed that the couple tried to take a coach to a "makeshift camp" at a military base early in the morning but were denied entry because it was full.

After a 90-minute drive, they arrived at a college in the heart of Rhodes, where people were "sleeping on floors and on top of tables.".

According to Mr. McMahon, "the college guys were giving out water, food, blankets, and sleeping bags while recording everyone's information.".

There must have been between 700 and 1,000 individuals. I want to express my gratitude to them for what they did.

The young men, who were between the ages of 17 and 18, were more mature than the older men, who were fighting and shoving each other to enter first. ".

He claimed that while they awaited a flight home, he and his wife were forced to spend the night on the floor of a classroom "with about 15 other people.".

Smoke and fire in the background in Rhodes
On the island of Rhodes, wildfires have been raging for almost a week.

Jet2 . com and Jet2holidays released a statement stating that while all flights to the island had been canceled until July 30, they were operating repatriation flights from Rhodes to Manchester, Leeds Bradford, and Birmingham.

"We understand how challenging this experience has been for many, and our entire focus is on looking out for our customers," a spokesperson said.

"Our presence in Rhodes has been significantly increased, and a sizable team of knowledgeable coworkers is there to help our clients in any way they need, whether they are at the airport or in the affected areas. ".

Additionally, the business stated that it was "keeping everything under constant review."

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