German tourist, 67, found dead on Greek island of Crete

The bay at Lindos in eastern Crete (Simon Calder )
The bay at Lindos in eastern Crete (Simon Calder )

A 67-year-old German man has been found dead on the Greek island of Crete, police have said – the sixth tourist death in June during an intense June heatwave.

The tourist had set off alone on a hike in a canyon in the Sougia region on Sunday and after a few hours called his wife to report that he was not feeling well.

“A search and rescue operation started immediately and a special rescue unit with drones spotted the man’s (body) in Trypiti canyon,” a police official told Reuters. Police did not identify the dead German.

Temperatures have soared to more than 40C across the Mediterranean country recently. On Crete, temperatures have been recorded reaching a high of 44.5C, while the Greek islands of Samos and Rhodes have also experienced sweltering heat.

The disappearances of tourists began when the body of British TV presenter Michael Mosley was found on Symi, another Aegean island, on 9 June after a four-day search operation by aircraft, drones and boats.

The 67-year-old was with friends at Agios Nikolaos beach, before going alone for a walk to the centre of the island in high temperatures before going missing.

Dr Michael Mosley (BBC)
Dr Michael Mosley (BBC)

His body was discovered around mid-morning on Sunday beneath a fence that runs around a bar on Agia Marina beach, which is surrounded by hilly, rocky terrain. An initial post-mortem examination found that he died of natural causes.

Mr Mosley’s widow Dr Clare Bailey Mosley paid tribute to her “wonderful” husband after his death.

In a statement, she said: “I don’t know quite where to begin with this.

“It’s devastating to have lost Michael, my wonderful, funny, kind and brilliant husband.

“We had an incredibly lucky life together. We loved each other very much and were so happy together.

“I am incredibly proud of our children, their resilience and support over the past days.

“My family and I have been hugely comforted by the outpouring of love from people from around the world. It’s clear that Michael meant a huge amount to so many of you.”

Rescue teams are also searching for two French women, aged 73 and 64, on the island of Sikinos, and a 59-year-old American policeman holidaying on the island of Amorgos.

A 55-year-old American was found dead on the Greek island of Mathraki in the Ionian Sea last week, and a Dutch tourist on the Aegean island of Samos earlier in the month.

The hot, arid conditions and high winds have caused a number of wildfires on mainland Greece and the islands. Several hundred firefighters have been deployed to battle more than 70 forest fires across Greece since Friday.

On Sunday, a Greek prosecutor charged 13 crew members of a yacht with arson after fireworks launched from the vessel allegedly sparked a forest fire on the island of Hydra, the semi-official Athens News Agency (ANA) said.

The crew, all Greeks, were arrested on Saturday at an Athens area marina after allegations that they started the forest fire late on Friday.

Additional reporting by agencies