Hero British grandfather, 61, drowns saving his grandsons, seven and ten, after lifting them up to safety on rocks when they got caught in sea currents while swimming on holiday in Crete
- Grandfather, 61, jumped into the sea after seeing his boys struggling in currents
- But he became trapped against rocks off the coastal town of Gouves
- He was able to push the children up onto rocks where a lifebuoy was thrown
- The grandfather could not be saved and his body was later retrieved
A British grandfather has drowned saving his two grandsons after they got caught in strong currents while swimming on holiday in Crete.
The 61-year-old leapt into the water when the boys, aged seven and ten, got into trouble in the waves but he soon became trapped against rocks.
The elderly man was able to push the boys up the craggy shore to a lifeguard and other bystanders who threw down a circular lifebuoy and ropes to haul them to safety.
But the grandfather could not be saved and it wasn’t until the coast guard arrived that his lifeless body could rushed ashore to a waiting ambulance.
‘At least the grandfather managed to see his grandchildren safe on land,’ one witness told local broadcaster Crete TV following the tragedy.
The Briton had been on holiday with his wife and daughter, the children’s mother, and was minding the boys when they went for a swim off the coastal village of Gouves, on the north of the Greek island, on Tuesday afternoon.
Heartrending footage shows a man in swimming trunks with a rope in his hand jumping from the coast guard speedboat and swimming in the choppy waters on Tuesday
The elderly man was able to push the boys up the craggy shore to a lifeguard and other bystanders who threw down a circular lifebuoy and ropes to haul them to safety (pictured: the scene of the tragedy off the village of Gouves)
The lifebuoy which was thrown down to the children by rescuers as the grandfather pushed them up the craggy shore to safety
He immediately jumped into the water when he saw the boys getting into trouble in strong waves but he rapidly got into difficulty himself as he was swept against the rocks.
Witnesses heard voices and hurried to help, throwing a rope with a lifebuoy, according to local paper Neakriti.
They described how the grandfather ‘pushed’ the children up the rocks so they could reach the buoy and get to safety.
After seeing his second grandson rescued, Neakriti reports the eldelry man ‘lost his he fell back into the water losing his strength.
A lifeguard was in the water helping to retrieve the man’s body from the waves.
Heartrending footage shows a man in swimming trunks with a rope in his hand jumping from the coast guard vessel and swimming in the choppy waters.
Eventually the rescue team were able to free the man’s body from the waves and rushed him ashore to a waiting ambulance.
An ambulance at the scene on Tuesday. The elderly man was taken to hospital in an unresponsive state, while the children also received treatment for shock
An ambulance at the scene of Tuesday’s fatal incident. The grandfather had been on holiday with his wife and their daughter, the mother of the two boys
Eventually the rescue team were able to free the man’s body from the waves and rushed him ashore to a waiting ambulance
A witness working nearby who went to help told Cretapost: ‘We were trying to pull him out but the currents were too strong and we couldn’t.
‘With the help of the Coast Guard, the man’s body was eventually retrieved and taken to the boat.’
The children were also taken to hospital in a state of shock but were not reported to have suffered any serious injury.
MailOnline has contacted the Foreign Office for comment.