A teenager who miraculously survived a horrific parasailing accident which killed two of his family members has made it safely back to the UK.
James Connelly, 15 and from Corby, Northamptonshire, was with his brother Michael, 13, and his cousin Jessica Hayes, 15, when the fatal incident occurred on the Greek island of Rhodes.
Michael and Jessica died on November 28 when the rope of their parasail snapped and they fell onto rocks, NorthantsLive reports.
James survived but was left in a serious condition.
He and the bodies of his brother and cousin have now been flown back to the UK.
Michael’s parents paid tribute to their boy and his cousin in a statement to the Northamptonshire Telegraph following the tragic accident.
The Connelly family said: “Mikey was the most talented gentleman with charisma in spades.
“He never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always a popular kid at school and at his drama class.
“His target of winning two Oscars before he was 18 has tragically been snatched away from him, and his family and friends will never recover from his passing.
“The world is a much poorer place for Mikey not being in it.
“He has left with his beautiful cousin Jessica, who was adored by all who knew her – the brightest of bright stars with the world at her feet.
“She could have been anything she wanted, as smart as she was.
“Her loss leaves a hole in our family that will never be filled.”
Jessica was a pupil at Uppingham Community College and the boys attended Kingswood Secondary Academy, the Northamptonshire Telegraph reported.
Jessica’s family said in a statement to the paper that their “hearts will never heal” and described their daughter as “beautiful”.
They said: “In a place where we were to spend some quality time as a family, we have suffered the most devastating loss.
“Jessica was a beautiful, bubbly young lady, who was extremely popular and loved by so many. Jess was always laughing with friends and loved a good giggle, with her beautiful smile.
“She had her best years ahead of her, she could have achieved anything she wanted. She was so clever, and so artistic.
“She loved nothing more than doing her own acrylic nails, and those of her friends, as well as being amazing with make-up.”
The family said Jessica “loved to bake and cook”, and enjoyed camping trips, having completed her Duke of Edinburgh award.
“We are devastated, and we really want our privacy and the privacy of family and friends to be respected during this time,” they added.
Soon after the tragic incident a GoFundMe page was launched to crowd-fund £50,000 for the mourning families.
An update to the page reads: “We are delighted to let you all know that James, Philip and Sharon landed safely in the UK.
“James remains very poorly in hospital and there is a long road ahead but we are confident he is receiving the best care possible.”
The GoFundMe page has so far raised £53,395 from 2,100 different donations.
The fund can be found online here.
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