Tributes flow in for two British teens killed in Greek parasailing accident


Tributes have flown in for two British teens tragically killed in a parasailing accident in Greece.

Cousins Michael Connelly, 13, and Jessica Hayes, 15, from Northamptonshire, died on Wednesday after their parachute rope snapped, Daily Star reports. Michael’s brother James, 15, remains in hospital.

Jessica’s devastated school, Uppingham Community College, published a statement from principal Ben Solly on Tuesday.

Jessica pictured as a child with cousins James Connolly. Photo: Daily Star

He said: “We were deeply saddened by the news that Jessica Hayes, one of our students in Year 11, tragically passed away whilst on holiday with her family in Greece.

“Jessica was a popular character at UCC and was well-liked by students and staff. She will be greatly missed by everyone at UCC and we will always remember her.

“She had so much potential to achieve whatever she wanted to in life; she had such a fabulous personality and we are devastated she is no longer with us.

Jessica, and Michael Connelly, 13, died following a parasailing accident as James Connelly was left seriously injured. Photo: Daily Star

“Our school community has been rocked to the core by Jessica’s tragic death and we will work with our students to create a fitting tribute in memory of her life.”

Her teachers paid tribute to the popular student who had a “real zest for life”.

Mr Sievewright, who knew the teenager well, said: “Jess was larger than life, she would light up a room and she lived for the moment. She was bright, articulate, infectious through her personality, her confidence and laughter, and had a real zest for life. Jess was, and will always be remembered as, a character.

“Jess was always passionate about what she liked and believed in, from issues in society, TikTok, and her take on school uniform!”

British media reports Jessica’s father, Tony, said that two people had been arrested over the tragedy and charged with manslaughter by way of negligence.

As the families arrived at their hotel on the island of Rhodes on 24 October, Mikey had said he “always wanted” to try parasailing. On 28 October the three cousins boarded a boat with other holidaymakers after the family were told it was suitable for anyone over the age of three, Mr Hayes said.

Photo: The Sun

“We’ve since learned that in Greece you should be 16 to take part,” the father said.

Both sets of parents watched as the boat set sail with the cousins on board. The cousins reportedly fell 400ft onto a rock face after the rope holding their canopy snapped.

“We waited for them on the beach and they never came back,” he added.




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