Rhodes parasail accident: Tributes to teens killed and hurt

Rhodes parasail accident: Tributes to teens killed and hurt

Tributes have been paid to two British children who died, and another who was seriously injured in a parasailing accident on the Greek Island of Rhodes.

Cousins Michael Connelly, 13, and Jessica Hayes, 15, from Northamptonshire, died on Wednesday.

Michael’s brother James, 15, was seriously injured when their parachute rope snapped.

Two people connected with the parasailing speedboat were arrested.

The boys’ school said the “tragic incident” had “shocked the community”.

The teenagers were on holiday with their parents when the accident happened at around noon local time near Lindos.

Jessica and Michael died while James was said to be in a “serious condition with multiple injuries” in a hospital on the island.

Michelle Newman, Principal at Kinsgwood Secondary Academy in Corby, attended by Michael and James, said: “We are all incredibly saddened by this tragic incident and the passing of one of our much-loved pupils, Michael Connelly, and his cousin Jessica.

“Mikey was a wonderful pupil, a friend to us all, and a fantastically positive member of our school community.

“They will be dearly missed by all who knew them, and our thoughts are with Mikey and Jessica’s families, including Mikey’s brother James, and friends at this difficult time.

“This has shocked our whole school community and we are providing ongoing support to our pupils and staff as we try to come to terms with such a terrible loss.”

Michael was also a member of Genesis Theatre Schools, based in Corby.

Posting a tribute on its Facebook page, the company wrote: “We are heartbroken at the news that pupil Mikey Connelly has died yesterday in a tragic accident on holiday in Greece… Along with his cousin, and his brother is currently fighting for his life.”

They described the 13-year-old as “a rare exceptional talent in acting and so, so funny”, adding it was an “unfathomable loss”.

“Thoughts and love go to all his family, especially his parents and to his cousin’s family for their tragic loss too. Our prayers and hope are with James his brother who is still fighting for his life.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of two British people following their death in Rhodes, and are in contact with the Greek authorities.”

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