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November 2020

Generous Britons raise £ 40,000 for family of two teenagers killed in tragedy as third fight for life

By Parasailing

GENEROUS Brits has donated more than £ 40,000 to the devastated family of two teenagers killed in parasailing crash in Greece – as a third fights for his life in hospital.

They showed their support after the deaths of Jessica Lee Hayes, 15, and her cousin Michael ‘Mikey’ Connelly, 13, on the holiday island of Rhodes on Wednesday.

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Jessica Hayes and Michael Connelly, right, died in parasailing tragedy while on family vacation in RhodesCredit: GoFundMe
Jessica, 15, pictured studying on the Greek island just days before she was killed last week

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Jessica, 15, pictured studying on the Greek island just days before she was killed last week

The couple were parasailing with Michael’s older brother James, 15, when a rope attaching their parachute to a speedboat snapped.

All three were carried hundreds of feet in the air in rocks off the fishing village of Lindos.

James survived the horror plunge but remains in a medically induced coma in hospital.

Jessica’s father Tony Hayes of Corby Northants has now thanked the UK public for their support as he continues to face his ‘nightmare’.

A GoFundMe page has already raised an incredible £ 40,000 for the United Family.

He says, “We are raising funds for the family that will be used to support them both now and in the struggles that lie ahead.”

Speaking from a hospital in Rhodes, Tony told The Sun on Sunday: “The kind messages from people all over the country have been so supportive.

Both groups of parents watched the boat depart with Jessica (above), James and Michael on board

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Both groups of parents watched the boat depart with Jessica (above), James and Michael on board
Jessica's father Tony Hayes has now thanked the UK public for their support

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Jessica’s father Tony Hayes has now thanked the UK public for their support

“It’s wonderful to know the people are so nice. The British Consulate has been so supportive as well, they have been wonderful.

“I cry every time I see how much people have given. It is simply amazing.

Local Greek businessman Nikos Mallios, 51, owner of the water sports business used by children, was arrested in the crash.

Greek law prohibits three people from parasailing at a time and the legal minimum age is 16.

But Jessica, Michael and James were all allowed to make the trip as a threesome – despite being all minors.

Sources say cops seized video evidence from the passengers on the speedboat.

The news comes as James’ father Phil, a steelworker from Corby, revealed that an MRI showed no change in his son’s condition.

James’ uncle Tony said: “There is a long way to go, legally. Right now we are all doing very badly in all fairness.

The tragedy happened on the holiday island of Rhodes

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The tragedy happened on the holiday island of Rhodes
They were killed while parasailing (stock image)
They were killed while parasailing (stock image)

“It is such a painful pain that we cannot operate. We cannot eat or sleep.

“We miss Jessica and Mikey so much. Nine-year-old Jessica’s little sister is in so much pain.

“She was so close to Jess and the boys. She needs her big cousin James to get by so they can laugh and joke like they used to.

Phil and Sharon Connelly described James as “the most perfect son”, reports the BBC.

“He is in a dark place right now, but with the support and prayer offered and his medical attention, I have no doubts that he will be okay,” Phil added.

“He will wake up to find his brother and cousin in eternal rest; it will devastate him as we have done.

Greek prosecutors have asked for more time to gather evidence before charging anyone with the children’s deaths.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office said after the tragedy: “We are supporting the family of two Britons after their death in Rhodes and are in contact with the Greek authorities”.

Parasailing crash in Rhodes: two arrests after the death of 13 and 15-year-old Britons and a third teenager fighting for life
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Man died kitesurfing locally named Dollymount Beach

By Kite surfing

A man who died on Saturday kitesurfing in Dublin is called Ger Fennelly (39).

An experienced kite-surfer, he struggled while participating in a charity event at Dollymount Strand around 9am.

Emergency services, including the coast guard and ambulance services, were called to the scene. He was removed from the water but pronounced dead at the scene. His body was taken to Mater Hospital.

“Ger was kitesurfing for the charity Mental Health Ireland,” said his sister Elaine Fennelly. “Some of the guys got dressed for the event, for Halloween.”

In a statement, Howth Coast Guard said on Saturday: “The Irish Coast Guard Emergency Operations Center this morning at 9:14 am received a call reporting a kitesurfing incident on Dollymount Beach and requesting assistance for the National Ambulance Service and An Garda Síochána attending the scene.

“The Howth Coast Guard unit responded quickly and, along with paramedics from NAS and Dublin Fire Brigade, provided first aid.

“The victim was transported off the beach by Coast Guard 4x4s to a NAS ambulance waiting on the Dollymount causeway.”

Mr. Fennelly had been kitesurfing for 14 years, according to the Piranha Triathlon Club of which he was “a long-time and respected member”.

A tribute to him on the club’s website said Mr. Fennelly had been an active member and “friendly face” of the club.

“Ger volunteered his time and energy, leading many Sunday laps and always helping with the club’s race.

“Ger loved the triathlon, representing Piranha at many triathlons across the country and abroad. He was always welcome at any training session or club race.

He said Mr Fennelly finished Ironman Barcelona in 2018 and wrote about achieving the goal while living with type 1 diabetes.

“Ger has made a lasting impression on many members of the triathlon community and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. He had a wonderfully positive outlook on life, was a kind soul and a true gentleman, ”he said.

He would be survived by his parents and his sister Elaine Fennelly.

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