The last few days the news showed the many fires around Athens, Greece.
Today the Oosterdam was safely docked in Piraeus. At about 15:45 I was called to the bridge, as a large fire had started on one of the hills on the other side of the port of Piraeus. The bellowing smoke and even high flames were clearly visible, fanned by gusting winds.
Soon 2 helicopters showed up. They loaded water from just outside the breakwaters before dumping that water on the burning hillside.
This picture shows one of the two helicopters loading water while hovering. The process is very similar to the water vacuum cleaners the Housekeeping Dept is using on board our ships.
This picture shows the burning and smoking hillside and the helicopter just dumping its water load.
By the time of our departure from Piraeus 45 minutes later, the smoke had cleared and no flames were visible anymore.
Captain Arjen C. van der Loo is master of ms Oosterdam.