Two men aged 60 and 61 are the victims of the tragic accident in Maleme, Chania. after a private plane crashed into the sea.
The thread of their lives was cut off on Thursday afternoon when, heading towards Maleme, the light single-engine aircraft they were on ended up in the sea only about 300 meters from the shore and at a depth of 2.5 meters.
Both were strapped to their seats in the aircraft which was upside down on the seabedas the impact was severe.
According to a first assessment by the president of Chania Aeroclub Panagiotis Tzarakis, possibly the pilot became disoriented and thought he was flying level while heading out to sea.
The two men were freed by a lifeguard, picked up by a LS-ELAKT patrol boat, and transported to the port of Kolymvari, where they were picked up by EKAV ambulances and transferred to the Chania General Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
The last minutes of the fatal plane
Frame by frame the retraction of the two men
As it became known, immediately after the fall, eyewitnesses informed the authorities with Pavlos Lytinakis, an experienced lifeguard and diver, rushing to the scene in order to locate and save the passengers.
“On Thursday afternoon I was contacted by the Chania Port Authority and told that a single-engine plane had washed ashore somewhere in the Maleme area. I hurriedly left without taking the diving equipment with me as I thought people had just issued an SOS and went to I caught up with them. When they got to the spot I found that the aircraft had already sunk with the coast guard and privateers looking for it. A coast guard who had seen the aircraft’s light came to our boat to show us around the area so I could dive in the sea while a fishing boat with searchlights was illuminating the spot”, said Pavlos Lytinakis speaking to cretapost.
Mr. Lytinakis, having a mask and a knife, dived into the water to locate the aircraft. He finally located it at 2.5 to 3 meters deep and found that the unfortunate passengers didn’t even have time to react as they were strapped into their seats.
“The aircraft was upside down in the water, the two men were in the boat and had made absolutely no attempt to extricate themselves. The aircraft was quite battered from the front and the cabin was slightly compressed, but not to the point where it couldn’t to get out if they were conscious. As I found the men had made no effort at all to free themselves. I freed them by cutting the straps with a knife, and one of the legs was caught in the pedals. I pulled them both up and we brought them up on the floats. Both were unfortunately dead. One had also been hit in the face,” Mr. Lytinakis described to cretapost.
Who is the pilot?
Theodoros Pantos, was the pilot of the fatal aircraft, president of the Western Greece Aeroclub.
“He has nothing to do with the games, nor would he take part. Someone was waiting for him in Maleme from another aeroclub and informed us that he was late,” said the president of the Chania aeroclub, Panagiotis Tzarakis, speaking about the tragic accident.
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