HeadLine: Hero parents drown in sunshine holiday horror
The Mirror, 09/07/2003, p7
by SHAUN MILNE
A DEVOTED couple drowned in a horrific holiday tragedy yesterday as
their frantic daughter watched from the beach.
Falklands War veteran Peter Rainey, 49, and his wife Alison, 41, died
after the family’s rubber dinghy capsized off the coast of Cyprus.
Peter, of Dollar, Clackmannanshire, had swum 100m to get to his wife
and nine-year-old son Callum when he saw them plunge into the water.
But the heroic dad’s rescue bid failed when they were all swamped by
heavy seas near Paphos.
Callum was later saved by locals and re-united with sister Catriona,
six, who had been left on the beach.
Tragically, however, nothing could be done for their parents, who were
declared dead on arrival at hospital.
Investigators said helicopter test pilot Peter had managed to get
Alison and Callum back on to the dingy before it was flipped a second
A police spokesman in Cyprus said the dinghy capsized at 9.30am BST.
He said: “They were 100m from the coast when the boat turned over and
Alison and Callum fell into the sea.
“Peter Rainey was watching what happened and he swam to help them.”
Little Callum was in a serious condition in hospital last night,
although he is out of danger. Choking back tears, friend Kate Stevens
said: “Peter died saving his son and trying to save his wife.
“It was typical of him to put others first. You could say he was a
Laser expert Alison – who used her maiden name Lessells – and
Canadian-born Peter shared a plush £500,000 house in Dollar.
Peter ran his successful Highland Aerosystems helicopter business
nearby, while the kids went to school at Dollar Academy’s junior
Village minister Rev John Purves said they were committed Christians,
adding: “Everyone is devastated at this very, very sad news.
“They were a lovely couple – very committed to the community.
“Callum is a highly intelligent little boy and Catriona is also very
clever. It is obviously going to have a great effect on their future.”
The tragedy comes just days after their parents, who used to live in
Freuchie, Fife, celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary
Neighbours said they had been expected back from Cyprus today.
Local councillor Keith Brown said: “A tragedy like this, especially to
a young family with children, will be keenly felt throughout the
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