Rescues of trekkers on Crete has hit record number this summer as the Fire Brigade has been called to intervene in 41 cases of people who decided to explore gorges and mountains on the island by themselves or with company without the right preparations, officials said on Thursday.
As Fire Brigade chief for Crete Nikos Lagoudakis told Athens-Macedonian News Agency, "It is common for tourists, even elderly ones, to decide on such excursions without adequate preparations. People that do not have the necessary equipment or the necessary physical condition, or those who are not acquainted with the terrain, take the initiative to visit the area, in some cases by themselves."
He added that "in many cases, we are called to intervene a few hours after the start of their excursion, either because they were injured, or dehydrated, or need help to return."
Rescue may take several hours when trekkers cannot provide the exact location and authorities have to call in vessels and airplanes to help locate them, especially near cliffs. "The search-and-rescue operations usually take many hours and succeed, but I believe that visitors should be well equipped and mainly informed, since to a large extent 'lone walkers' usually do not meet their goal, and instead of enjoying their holidays end up having a hard time", Lagoudakis said.