The skipper and chief mate of the mega yacht “Persefoni”, from which fireworks were allegedly launched resulting in a wildfire that burnt 30 hectares of pine forest on the island of Hydra last week, were remanded in custody on Thursday.

The two seamen were arrested by a unit of the fire brigade as responsible for the wildfire that burned a portion of the pine forest on June 21. Eleven other crew members were also detained. The vessel was reportedly chartered by a group of wealthy Kazakhstan nationals.

A magistrate and prosecutor decided to release the remaining 11 crew members on bail (10,000 euros for seven; and 20,000 for four). The suspects are required to appear at a local police station once a month, while they are banned from exiting the country.

According to reports, in his deposition the captain claimed the fireworks were not launched from the deck of the yacht, arguing that during the investigation by the Coast Guard, all marine flares were intact and unused. He also said he immediately notified the Fire Department after the fire broke out.

The wildfire, which caused an uproar in the country, flared up amid a mini heatwave and extremely dry weather conditions.

Hydra, considered nominally part of the Saronic Gulf, is located off the eastern coast of the Peloponnese in southern Greece. The island is a cosmopolitan destination for more upscale tourists and day-trippers from the wider Athens area.