Heavy storms hit almost all of Greece over the weekend. Missing tourists are being searched off the Halkidiki peninsula. One was lucky in misfortune.

A tourist who had been missing in the Aegean since Saturday was very fortunate: a passing freighter discovered the man on Sunday 14 nautical miles off the Greek peninsula of Halkidiki in the open sea.

The tourist from North Macedonia went swimming with two friends in strong winds and waves, as reported by state television, citing the coast guard.

The waves and the current would have driven the trio into the open sea. The rescued then swam in the sea for 19 hours. A tourist is still missing, and an extensive search operation continued on Sunday afternoon. A surfer discovered the third swimmer and brought him to safety on Saturday, state television reported.

Storm in Greece

Heavy storms, winds and rain caused problems in almost all of Greece at the weekend. There were floods on the holiday islands of Thassos and Skyros, cars were washed away, basements and ground floors were full of water. Roads on Skyros had to be closed due to landslides and two destroyed bridges, state broadcaster reported. It also rained all night in Athens and Crete. The storm should only subside on Sunday afternoon, said the meteorological office.

However, many residents also welcomed the heavy rains. In Greece, the risk of forest fires had recently increased significantly after it had been very hot and dry for a long time. Last Thursday, the fire brigade reported 378 forest fires within seven days. According to the authorities, the risk of fire after the storm is low for the time being.