NEWS

Slightly limp, but still cigarettes galore

Beaches on the resort island of Rhodes have been drawing unseasonably large crowds over the past two days, as scores of local and visiting smokers hastened to harvest an unexpected bounty washed up by the sea. Thousands of packs of cigarettes were found on the island’s eastern, southern and western coasts, with the highest concentrations recorded at the popular beach of Afantou, at Kiotari and near Kameiros. Until late yesterday, the coast guard on Rhodes had yet to determine the source of the unusual jetsam, which is suspected to have been thrown overboard by the crew of a smuggling ship to forestall a customs inspection. A similar incident was recorded a couple of years ago when a Turkish cigarette-smuggling boat foundered off the island. Beachcombers’ enthusiasm was dampened by the waterlogged state of many of the cigarettes, local reports said.