AN ACCRINGTON transport firm has revealed how it rescued 1,500 stranded British holidaymakers after a devastating storm tore through Greece last month.

CMAC Group, based in The Globe Centre on St James Square, specialises in providing emergency transport and often provides emergency relief to tourists who are stuck abroad.

In this case, the CMAC team was called into action when 1,500 people were left stranded in Greece after Storm Ionas battered the west coast of the Mediterranean country with torrential rain and 70 mile per hour winds, leaving a trial of destruction in its wake.

Chief executive Steve Turner said: “The situation in Greece was really sad, as is any loss of life, injury or damage to property and infrastructure.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The small tourist heavy island of Kefalonia particularly badly hit with heavy flooding and powerful winds, destroying cars and boats

Fortunately the Accrington company was able to use well sourced local knowledge to find emergency accommodation for stranded holiday makers and to call upon partners Ryanair to organise flights to take them home.

Mr Turner said: “The complexity of such a task and emergency nature means that the expertise of our local team really takes effect.”

Storm Ionas was a rare form of storm known as a Medicane, a tropical like cyclone that occurs in the Mediterranean Sea and which, on rare occasions, can reach the status of a devastating category one hurricane.

Ionas proved to be roughly the strength of an Atlantic hurricane with winds as strong as 73mph and 250 millimetres of rain, with highs of 500 millimetres in extreme cases, being dropped.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The team however, were able to draw upon past experience and were relieved when all 1,500 people were brought home safely.

In particular, firm has a history of being involved with large-scale rescues of stranded holidaymakers, with airline collapses and natural disasters often the cause.

Mr Turner said: “Be it the Beast from the East, the Icelandic ash cloud crisis or the very sad collapse of Monarch Airlines, Flybe and Thomas Cook, we’ve been called upon to bring home passengers at short notice.

“Our teams across Europe are constantly monitoring situations in real-time, from when they are at the earliest stages of unfolding and putting into action its locally based teams.”

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