Fisherman who rescued people during the deadly Mati fires in July 2018 passes away

Kostas Arvanitis

Kostas Arvanitis

Heroic fisherman, Kostas Arvanitis who selflessly saved more than 70 people during the deadly Mati wildfires in July 2018, passed away over the weekend after fighting a long battle with cancer.

Arvanitis did not hesitate for a minute after hearing about the wildfires and immediately took his fishing boat to save as many people as he could that were stranded on the shores, trapped or swimming in the sea to escape the flames.

He was accompanied by his wife Chryssa, son Dimitris and Egyptian employee Mahmout Messier.

One year after the deadly wildfires, the fisherman took to Facebook to explain why he has not spoken about the rescue operation. "I was unable to manage pain, despair and sorrow to my fellow men and women, but also to all the aniamls that burned alive on that day.”

“As the days of this anniversary were approaching, I felt a gap in my chest grow. My birthday and my feeling instead of being in festive mood look more like a memorial. I haven’t talked much about what I experienced that night as I couldn’t handle pain, despair, sympathy for my fellow human beings, but also for the pets and the stray animals that I put on my boat together with my family and my sailor,” he continued.