A NEWLYWED couple told of their “trauma” after fleeing their Rhodes honeymoon when wildfires took hold.
Claire and Paul Jones were forced to evacuate their hotel within ten minutes as the blaze ripped through their resort in Lindos.
The couple, both 36 from Leicestershire, arrived in Rhodes On July 18, after getting married two days earlier.
Claire recalled sitting outside having drinks with her husband when it “got really smoky” with “ash dropping out of the sky”.
But she said the following day, the pair were evacuated by coach from the Village Rhodes Beach Resort near Lardos after the situation went from “zero to 100”.
She said: “That’s how quickly it escalates, it was literally zero to 100.
“By the time we got our stuff and got to reception, which was probably another ten minutes, everybody was at reception and you could see the fires.
“They had come over the hill, they were halfway down the hill, and everybody was just panicking.”
She said she and her husband were “very lucky” as they have now managed to flee via a taxi to Faliraki in the north of the island, where they had planned to stay later in their trip.
“I’m finding it really hard to just switch off, I can’t stop thinking about it,” she added.
“I keep thinking of little things, like there was a little girl on the bus screaming to her mum, ‘I don’t want to die’.
“The kids were petrified because they could see the fire, it wasn’t a nice situation.”
Mrs Jones said as they fled they were given wet towels by the staff at the hotel because “the smoke had got so intense you could hardly breathe”.
While waiting for the coaches to arrive, Mrs Jones recalled: “When we got to the car park and you could see the fires getting closer and closer and closer, and the coaches weren’t turning up… that was really worrying.”
She added: “When we first got on the coach, that was the most scary because I thought, if that wind blows towards us, that fire is going to hit the coach.
“We had to drive through two or three fires on either side of the road, there was no way out, we had to drive through them.
“It was really quite traumatic driving to where we went because you could see everyone fleeing their hotels, and people were walking along the beaches, walking along the roads, and they had babies and small children.”
Mrs Jones said they were driven to a beach where they waited for around two hours watching the fires getting “closer and closer” before several boats started to pull up on the beach.
“There were loads of people getting dropped off,” she said.
“There was no one from the hotel, there were no holiday reps that we know of, no one knew what was going on.
“You could see the fire getting closer and closer, and then they [the boats] started pulling up on the beach, obviously just people helping.
“People were very wary because there one no one guiding the situation, but we just made the decision to get on one.”
After they had arrived in Lindos Bay, Mrs Jones said she and her husband fled via a taxi to Faliraki.
Thousands of Brit holidaymakers were forced to evacuate as the blaze continues to spread across Rhodes.
The fire-hit island has been ravaged by flames that have destroyed land, properties and wildlife.
The wildfires sent thousands of locals and tourists to flee – in Greece’s biggest evacuation effort.
Terrified holidaymakers have been forced to evacuate burning hotels scrambling to get home on evacuation flights.
More than 16,000 people have been evacuated by land and 3,000 by sea from 12 villages and several hotels.
Many have slammed tour operators for being stranded as they claimed that shouldn’t have been allowed to fly to Rhodes in the first place.
Both easyJet and Jet2 are planning repatriation flights to Rhodes today to bring Britons home.