‘A brilliant guy’: Tributes are paid to ‘hero’ British father who is feared dead after diving into Lake Garda to save his teenage son
- Aran Chada, 51, dived into Lake Garda to save his son Roman, 14 but went under
- The family were 200 yards from the shore near Limone when Mr Chada vanished
- ‘This man was a hero and we fear he drowned,’ said the coastguard commander
- His family were offered psychologist’s help afterwards, coastguard confirms
Tributes were paid last night to a ‘hero’ British sales executive who is feared dead after diving into Lake Garda to save his son.
Aran Chada, 51, his partner Holly Mosley, 39, and their two children – son Roman, 14, and daughter Floren, seven – had rented a boat on the lake in northern Italy when tragedy struck.
Mr Chada dived in when he saw Roman struggling while swimming. He managed to push the boy back to the boat but then disappeared under the water. Searches were continuing last night, with the diving unit of the Coast Guard of Genoa expected to join efforts today.
Sales director Aran Chada, 51, was with his partner Holly Mosley, 39, and their two children – a 14-year old boy and a girl aged seven – on a boat trip to northern Italy
The boat hired by the 51-year-old and his family is pictured after returning to shore
Rescuers said Mr Chada may have suffered a seizure in the cold water. Temperatures at the time of the incident on Friday afternoon were around 38C (100F) but the water was considerably colder. Neighbours of the family in the Leicestershire village of Woodhouse Eaves told of their shock last night.
Jon Lowe, 51, an electrician, said: ‘Aran was a brilliant guy, always fun to be around. He was the best neighbour we could ask for.
‘He always had a ready smile. We have been neighbours for 12 years and in all that time they have been such a kind family – they always stop for a word or a chat with you if you saw them in the village.
‘This is such a shock, especially as he has always been such a fit lad. He was often at the gym and enjoyed keeping fit.’
His family were offered psychologist’s help immediately after the incident, the coastguard confirmed Pictured: The resuce boat
A rescue helicopter continued its two-day search for the tourist well into Saturday afternoon
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I can only imagine the pain his family is going through. This is thoroughly heart-breaking and desperately sad.’
The family were about 200 yards from the shore near the town of Limone when Mr Chada vanished.
Miss Mosley called emergency services when her husband did not resurface. Witnesses also called for help after hearing her screams. Three coastguard boats as well as helicopters from the local firefighting and ambulance services were dispatched to the scene.
Divers and a robot submarine were also sent to the lake, which is 650ft deep in some places.
Limone sul Garda, a picturesque lakeside town in northern Italy, was the scene of the accident
The family were thought to have just started their holiday, which would have included Mr Chada’s 52nd birthday tomorrow.
Coastguard Antonello Ragadale said: ‘He managed to get the boy back to the boat, where he was pulled in by his mother, but the man then slipped beneath the surface, perhaps suffering a seizure.
‘This man was a hero and we fear he drowned, but we’re doing everything we can to find his body.
Known for its stunning setting and plunging cliffs, the area is a magnet for British holidayers
Members of Lake Garda’s coastguard were pictured looking for the man, but were unsuccessful
Temperatures hit around 38C but the water was considerably colder
The picturesque lakeside town in between Garda and steep rocky cliffs is a popular haunt
‘Divers arrived with the helicopters but could do little because a steep rocky shelf descends to a great depth at that point, so a civil protection agency remote-control mini-sub was sent down.’
He said rescuers would carry on for as long as it took to ‘give some comfort to the poor woman and her children’. Miss Mosley and her children were taken back to their hotel and assisted by counsellors.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Chada was a sales director for Global Energy Ventures, which services oilfields in Africa. The Foreign Office said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Italy.’
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