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British grandfather, 61, is killed trying to save his grandsons, seven and ten, in the sea off Crete

British grandfather, 61, is killed saving his grandsons, seven and ten, after they got caught in strong 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
  • Lifeguard rushed in to save the children but could not reach the man in time
  • He was later able to free the grandfather’s lifeless body from the rocks 


A British grandfather has died trying to save his two grandsons after they were swept out to sea 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 by strong currents. 

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 was not 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.  

The grandfather was minding the children when they went for an afternoon swim off the coastal village of Gouves (pictured), on the north of the Greek island, on Tuesday afternoon.

He immediately jumped into the water when he saw the boys getting into trouble in strong waves but he rapidly got into trouble 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 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 speedboat 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. 

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. 

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