Ex-Minister Sifis Valyrakis found dead: He fell overboard while his boat was in motion

The inflatable boat was found empty with two spearguns and the engine running

Sifis Valyrakis, who had been missing since Sunday noon in the sea area of Eretria, was found dead by the Hellenic Coast Guard.

The body of the 78-year-old former minister was found on the rocks of a small island in the area called “Pezonisi” or “Island of Dreams”. He was wearing a diving suit and was found a mile away from his boat.

The search for his whereabouts was coordinated by the Chamber of Operations of the Hellenic Coast Guard.

Earlier, his inflatable boat was found empty.

According to his wife, Sifis Valyrakis left Eretria at 2 in the afternoon with an inflatable boat which was later found by a fishing boat stranded southeast on the islet of Agia Triada (Aspronisi) without passengers, with the engine working with two spearguns inside.

Who was Sifis Valyrakis

The former PASOK minister was married to the well-known painter Mina Papatheodorou-Valyraki, who has won many international awards for her works with which she had two children.

He was born in 1943 in Chania. His father, Giannis Valyrakis, was an Army officer.

He studied electronic engineering in Germany and Sweden, specializing in industrial automation. He spoke English, German and Swedish. Sifis Valyrakis was a leading member of the anti-junta resistance and the armed branch of the PAK.

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He was wanted by the April 21 regime for three years for bombings and was finally arrested in 1971, where he was tortured and imprisoned at the EAT-ESA. However, he escaped as he managed to cut the bars of his cell and then caused a short circuit in the electricity network of the prisons.

He then climbed onto the roof of a train to Yugoslavia, but was found, arrested and imprisoned in Corfu. He escaped, however, and swam to Albania, where he was arrested again as a junta spy.

Eventually, however, he was released following the actions of Andreas Papandreou, who mobilized his international contacts, through which the Chinese intervened to the Albanian Hoxha regime and released him.

Sifis Valyrakis was first elected Member of Parliament for Chania with PASOK in 1977. He served as Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications (October 1981 – November 1984), Deputy Minister of Culture in charge of Sports (July 1985 – June 1988), Deputy Minister of Public Order (June 1988 – July 1989 and July 1994 – March 1995) and Minister of Public Order (March 1995 – January 1996).