Funeral of hero coast guard officer to be held Thursday

Funeral of hero coast guard officer to be held Thursday

A funeral service will be held on Thursday for a coast guard officer on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos who saved thousands of lives at the peak of the migrant crisis.

Lieutenant Kyriakos Papadopoulos suffered a fatal heart attack early yesterday. He was 44.

Papadopoulos was hailed as a hero for commanding a patrol boat that rescued more than 5,000 migrants on the treacherous crossing from nearby Turkey, most in 2015 and 2016.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hailed Papadopoulos for “defending the value of human life, when all around us it is being undermined by war and intolerance” in a post on Twitter.

The 44-year-old will be buried with full honors, while the service will take place at 4.30 p.m. at the Church of Aghios Therapontas in the island’s capital, Mytilene.

His family has asked that donations be made to the Smile of the Child charity in lieu of wreaths and flowers.

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