UK tourists rescued from boat after it explodes into fireball off Greek island

Five British tourists were rescued after their polyester boat went up in flames in the Ionian Sea.

The UK nationals were sailing some 70 metres off the northern coast of the stunning Greek island of Zakynthos when the incident happened.

It is not yet clear what sparked the terrifying blaze, which quickly took hold of the entire ship.

Astonishing images from Greece’s Ionian TV show massive flames engulfing the hull.

A trail of black thick smoke can also be seen rising from the boat, from which the tourists managed to escape almost unharmed.

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The Britons were helped by crew members on another private boat, who noticed the tourists in distress and sailed to rescue them.

After being brought to shore, one of the passengers who had suffered minor burns was taken to a clinic for first aid.

The boat used by the Britons sank, local media reported.

This terrifying incident happened on the same island where another British tourist, 19-year-old Ryan Bennet, died following an accident involving a quad bike.

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Another 19-year-old passenger was left with minor bruises.

Greek police said the tragedy struck in the early hours of July 7 and that no other vehicle was involved in the incident.

Both teenagers wore helmets, ERT Zakynthos reported, at the time of the accident and were said to be moving at a slow pace.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) had previously called on travelling UK nationals to think carefully about renting quad bikes or mopeds during their holidays.

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The organisation cited dire statistics on road accidents to discourage the use of these vehicles, saying that ABTA members reported 36 quad bike accidents in 2017 alone.

Greece is a destination deeply loved by British tourists, with some 3.6 million UK visitors heading to the country in 2022, according to data shared by Statista.

Only three other nations were more visited by Britons last year, including Italy, which counted 3.9 million arrivals from the UK.

France could boast a whopping 7.4 million entry from Britain.

Coming in first place, perhaps unsurprisingly, was Spain, which recorded more than 15,600 arrivals from Britain in 2022.

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