A passing high-speed ferry caused chaos on a beach on Mykonos when waves generated by the passing vessel crashed into unexpecting beachgoers.
People relaxing on the beach of Agios Stefanos were caught off-guard when massive waves overwhelmed swimmers in the wake of the high-speed ferry. Some members of the public were injured, although not seriously.
In recent months, residents of Mykonos have contended with various difficulties stemming from over-tourism, illegal construction, and organized crime.
Tsunami from high-speed ferry alarms bathers on Mykonos beach
Local media on the island of Mykonos reported that beach-goers were disturbed whilst swimming and sunbathing on the beach of Agios Stefanos. Intense winds were reportedly generated by the high-speed ferry as it passed the beach, which in turn generated huge waves that reached the road.
A lifeguard who was on duty on the beach did his best to aid swimmers exiting the water as panic spread across the beach. Two women were injured but no serious injuries were recorded.
The Greek Coast Guard responded to the incident and quickly arrived on the scene. They advised the captain of the ferry that the vessel was traveling at too great a speed within the vicinity of the beach.
The vessel in question appears to be the Worldchampion Jet, a high-speed ferry capable of traveling at 50 knots. The Worldchampion Jet has a length of 87 m and a width of 24 m. It has a passenger capacity of 1,310 and 222 cars.
The lifeguard who was on duty on the beach during the incident will submit a written report to the Port Authority.
Incidents on the island
This is not the first time that the Greek island of Mykonos has made the news for the wrong reasons in recent months.
Another incident at sea was reported back in May when at least three people – two women and one man – drowned after a migrant boat capsized off the coast of Mykonos. Mykonos, like many other Greek islands, is positioned within the maritime routes many migrants take to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe.
Mykonos has also had recurrent issues with overdevelopment and illegal construction. In April, locals were angered by the appearance of a wall on Panormos Beach, amid a spate of illegal building activities on the island.
Just a month prior to the construction of the offending wall, an archaeologist whose work included overseeing proposed building projects, was assaulted and beaten in Athens. It is believed that the attack was in connection with an intimidation campaign by organized criminal groups to ensure that their building projects are not met with legal barriers.