NEWS

Conscript drowns in silken trap off Crete

An army parachutist drowned in the sea off Crete yesterday during a training drop just two months before he was due to finish his military service. Theodoros Pantelakis, 24, and another six conscripts had already completed one jump over the Maleme range in western Crete, which was the site of fierce fighting in May 1941 during the German airborne invasion of Crete. In the second drop from the C-130 military transport plane, four of the soldiers landed safely on target, but the rest, including Pantelakis, were blown off course and over the sea. The other two parachutists managed to free themselves from their heavy harness and jettison their billowing parachutes, and were picked up by a fishing boat. Pantelakis disappeared into the water, and was recovered nearly three hours later later by divers who found him on the seabed still attached to his parachute.