A HERO Scot drowned saving his two grandsons from being swept out to sea on a holiday to Greece.
Jonathan Smith, 61, died after pushing the stricken boys, aged 10 and seven, to safety on rocks in Crete – but rescuers were unable to save him.
Jonathan Smith died after saving his grandsons’ lives in Crete
He is believed to have shoved his grandkids onto rocks after getting into trouble in the water
Heartbroken son David, 34, said of his dad, of Carluke, Lanarkshire: “I can’t believe I’ll never see him again.”
Brave Jonathan was overcome by rough waters after his dramatic rescue efforts near the resort of Gouves, where he had been enjoying a sunshine break with his wife Susan, his daughter and the children.
Speaking from the family home, David told of his pain as he praised the courage of the devoted family man.
He said: “I loved my dad very much. He is my hero. I still can’t believe I’m never going to see him again after he left to go on his holidays. It’s an unexpected tragedy.”
The family are thought to have travelled with Jet2 and arrived on the island at the weekend.
Our holiday snap shows smiling NHS worker Jonathan relaxing with a glass of wine before the sea horror unfolded on Tuesday afternoon.
He is believed to have shoved his grandkids onto rocks after getting into trouble in the water.
Shocked witnesses told how bystanders and a lifeguard threw a life ring to the youngsters and pulled them to safety but the grandad could not be saved.
Footage screened on Greek TV showed a rescuer jumping from a life raft with a rope to retrieve Jonathan’s body from the water.
An onlooker, who asked not to be named, said: “The weather has been bad the last few days and the sea rough but there has been a lifeguard on duty. He is very upset by what happened.
“He tried his best to save the man but was unable to do so. I help run the watersports on the seafront and it all happened in front of me. It was so sad to see but the grandfather was able to see his children saved.”
Jonathan’s wife Susan, 60, and his daughter last night remained in Crete with his grandchildren, as they made arrangements to fly his body back home to Scotland.
David told how his dad enjoyed a passion for the outdoors, walking, cycling and photography.
He added: “He recently retired from North Lanarkshire Council and working for NHS part-time. He was fanatical about Rugby League and was a St Helens fan.
“My family are still over there. I’ve not even asked any questions about what happened — I can’t deal with it. We’re just trying to get him home and have been speaking to the consulate.
“To be brutally honest I’ve struggled to ask my family the full story. I can’t face talking about it with them, especially when they are still over there.”
Last night a Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died in Crete and are in contact with the Greek authorities.”
Jonathan was on holiday with his daughter and her kids
The life ring used to pull the boys to safety after Jonathan rescued themCredit: cretapost.gr
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