The family of two British teenagers who died in a parasailing accident while on vacation in Greece paid tribute to their “beautiful” and “talented” children.
Cousins Jessica Hayes, 15, and Michael Connelly, 13, died on the Greek island of Rhodes on Wednesday when the rope holding their parasail awning snapped.
Michael’s brother, James Connelly, 15, who was with them at the time, survived but is in critical condition in hospital.
Michael’s parents paid tribute to the teenagers, both from Corby in Northamptonshire.
“He never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always a popular kid in school and in his drama class.
“His goal of winning two Oscars before he turned 18 was tragically wrenched away, and his family and friends will never recover from his passing.
“The world is a much poorer place for Mikey who isn’t there.
“He left with his beautiful cousin Jessica, who was adored by all who knew her – the brightest shining star with the world at his feet.
“She could have been anything she wanted, as smart as she was.
“His loss leaves a hole in our family that will never be filled.”
The family asked people to pray for their son James, who they say is on life support.
Jessica was a student at Uppingham Community College and the boys attended Kingswood Secondary Academy, the Northamptonshire Telegraph reported.
They said, “In a place where we needed to spend quality family time, we suffered the most devastating loss.
“Jessica was a beautiful, bubbly young lady, who was extremely popular and loved by so many people. Jess always laughed with friends and loved a good laugh, with her lovely smile.
“She had her best years ahead of her, she could have achieved anything she wanted. She was so smart and so artistic.
“She loved nothing more than doing her own acrylic nails and those of her friends, as well as looking amazing with makeup.”
The family said Jessica “loved to cook and bake” and enjoyed camping trips, having won her Duke of Edinburgh award.
“We are devastated and we really want our privacy and that of our family and friends to be respected during this time,” they added.
The Greek Coast Guard said the teenagers were found on a rocky coastal area near the village of Lindos.
A 51-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident, the coast guard said.