A British man is feared to have drowned in Lake Garda after diving in to save his teenage son.

The man, named as Aran Chada, 51, hired a boat with his two children and partner on the Italian lake near Limone on Friday.

The family lived in the village of Woodhouse Eaves, near Loughborough, Leicestershire, and were believed to have just started their holiday which included his birthday on Tuesday, The Times reported.

They were about 500m (0.3 miles) from the shore when Mr Chada’s 14-year-old son got into trouble in the water so he dived in and managed to push him towards the boat to save him, the coastguard said.

Mr Chada then got into trouble and slipped beneath the water, and has not been seen since.

An eyewitness told Italian media: “We were about 100m from the shore when we heard a woman scream for help.

“I looked over and she was on a boat with two children screaming and pointing to the water, so we called the emergency services and they arrived very quickly.”

Coastguard commander Antonello Ragadale said: “This man was a hero and we fear he drowned, but we’re doing everything we can to find his body.”

A spokesman for the coastguard said: “The family hired a boat from a local company for two-and-a-half hours.

“The man dived to save his eldest son who was in trouble and managed to push him back to the boat but then he got into trouble.

“It was very hot on Friday afternoon, but the water was ten degrees colder, so it’s possible he had a seizure from the shock.

“The search went on for nearly seven hours and stopped when it got dark, but it has now resumed.

“The family is in their hotel with the police and a psychologist has been offered to them for support.”

It has been about 31C over the past week in Lake Garda.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Italy and are in contact with the Italian police.”

Image:
Lake Garda. file pic

Rescue boats, divers, a robot submarine and helicopters are all taking part in the search of the 34-mile long lake, which reaches down to 364m (1,135ft) in places.

Mr Chada’s LinkedIn profile says he is group sales director at Global Energy Ventures, which provides specialist services to the oil industry in West Africa.

There have been a number of drownings in Lake Garda recently, with the divers who are looking for Mr Chada having only just returned from searching for an Italian man who recently went missing.

Another Italian man drowned in the lake earlier this month.

In 2017, Londoner Gary John Wood, 37, died attempting a one-mile swim after a sudden storm created 6ft waves. His body was recovered by a robot sub.

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