Tragedy struck off the small Greek island of Paxos on Saturday when a 15-year-old teenager died in a speedboat accident while his father was driving.
Toby Finnett died in front of his dad, brother and stepbrother when he fell off the back of the rented boat and got caught in the propeller.
The teen’s family quickly dragged his body back on board and sped to shore, but medics pronounced the boy dead on impact.
A local official told journalists from the British publication The Times that the father was initially arrested under suspicion of negligent driving, but police released him after an investigation determined the accident was most likely due to poor weather conditions.
An official from the Greek coastguard said that waters were rough with big waves and not suited for using the powerful speedboat, which has a 150-hp outboard engine. They also confirmed that there had been a red alert against traveling in waters between Corfu and Paxos, where the family was vacationing.
Finnett’s brother’s Benjamin, 17 and Kai Stark, 14, paid tribute to him via social media, describing him as the “most incredible and loving character ever.”
Stark posted a video on Instagram of the brothers cliff diving in Paxos just days before Finnett’s death, writing in the caption: “I’ll never forget you brother, and my best friend.”
The three brothers had been on a “boys only” summer vacation with their dad, flying all the way from Houston, Texas where their father has lived since emigrating from the U.K in 1994.
The group had been on their way to Paxos’ main port of Gaios when the accident occurred.
A Greek Foreign Office spokesman issued the following statement:
“Foreign Office staff are supporting the family of a British child following his death in Paxos, and are in contact with the Greek police about the incident.”
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