Captain and First Officer of M/Y Persefoni Jailed on Arson Charges

23 June 2024 By Holly Overton
Yacht Crew Charged with Arson Allegedly Causing Forest Fire in Greece
Credit: Facebook/Epoxikoi Pirosvestes

Holly is the editor of Dockwalk. She grew up racing sailboats in England before switching to the world of superyachts and moving across the pond to Fort Lauderdale.

The captain and first officer of the 54-meter motor yacht Persefoni I, accused of starting a forest fire last week on the Greek island of Hydra, have been jailed pending a trial.

All 13 crew members appeared before a prosecutor in Athens on Wednesday after fireworks allegedly launched by the vessel's crew sparked a forest fire on the Greek island of Hydra. 

The blaze tore through a remote stretch of coastline, 74 kilometers south of Athens, and is said to have destroyed around 300 acres of pine forest late Friday. 

If convicted, the crew could face hefty penalties. 

Persephoni I was at anchor near the site and the crew were arrested Saturday when they docked near Athens. Local law enforcement says another vessel anchored nearby informed authorities that fireworks had been set off by the crew of Persephoni I and that its tender was seen leaving the shoreline.

According to Greek news outlets, officers of the fire department that initially responded to the fire went to the bay of Agios Nikolaos and found the remains of 15 fireworks, believed to be set off from the beach.

In a statement cited by the Athens News Agency, the company operating the yacht, Salaminia Yachting LTD, said it awaits the results of the investigation and that it "retains absolute confidence in the integrity and sincerity of the crew members", who have denied the charges.

Greek prosecutors have also charged eight passengers aboard the yacht at the time of the fire as being complicit in the fire. The remaining crew members were freed on bail with restrictions. 

The Piraeus Public Prosecutor’s Office has also launched a preliminary inquiry into the firefighting and port authorities’ handling of the Hydra fire case.  


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