The Greek coastguard has suggested that ITN presenter Tom Bradby’s memory was “blurred” when he accused officials of standing by while he dived into a harbour to try and save a drowning man, the Times reports.
The News at Ten presenter was holidaying with his family when he dived into Rafina harbour along with another bystander to try and rescue an elderly man who had driven his car into the water. He then later took to Twitter to report that “Of the 9 or 10 officials on the quay only one went in to try and get him out as the car sank. The rest watched.”
- December 8, 2014
- June 26, 2013
- June 12, 2013
Dived in, tried to help, couldn't get him out. Completely shocking.
— tom bradby (@tombradby) August 16, 2015
Coastguard spokesman Nikolas Lagadianos was quoted by The Times saying: "Perhaps Mr Bradby was in shock, and his recollection and assessment of the course of events were blurred.
“Officials were there. They rushed to the site as soon as they realised what was going on. And the man who jumped in to assist did so in heroic pursuit of his duty…He had no special training and he could have drowned also by the forceful water current created by the car dive.
“That all of the coastguard employees did not jump in to take part in the rescue attempt does not mean that they did not do what they had to: notify those most qualified for the job — the team of frogmen — to come and assist in the rescue operation.”
The rescue attempt made the front pages of the Metro and Daily Mail and was widely covered by UK newspapers but did not receive attention in the Greek media.
Greek police said they are investigating the man’s death but that it is too soon to be certain that it was a suicide. However Daily Mail eyewittness reports say the man had "his doors locked and his hands on the wheel…he did not want to be saved".
The incident follows concerns about the sharply increasing suicide rate in Greece that has been linked to the country’s economic crisis with June research reporting a 35 per cent rise in suicides in the past two years.