Father of British girl killed by speedboat in Albania ‘brawled with man responsible’

Jonada Avdia
Jonada Avdia

The father of a British girl who was killed in a boat crash while on holiday with her family in Albania was pictured brawling with the off-duty police officer who was allegedly responsible for her death.

Local police confirmed that seven-year-old Jonada Avdia died instantly at the scene after being hit by the speedboat while swimming just 15ft from the shore on Potami Beach, Southern Albania.

The girl, from Barking, east London, had been holidaying with family in their native Albania when she was allegedly hit by off-duty policeman Arjan Tase, who was said to have lost control of the borrowed boat.

The boat’s spinning propeller blades “caused serious injuries that led to immediate loss of life”, a police spokesman said.

Recounting the accident, Jonada's father Bledar said the boat “came in our direction and came at hellish speed and separated me and the girl.

“I dived down under the water and the craft hit my daughter with the engine part, cutting her all over.”

Bledar Avdia
Bledar Avdia

Following the accident on Aug 2, footage was shared by horrified onlookers that showed the father confronting Mr Tase.

In the video, Mr Avdia is seen grappling with Mr Tase after the white speedboat returns to shore.

Mr Tase was on Friday expected to appear before a court charged with manslaughter, according to local media reports.

The young girl’s death led to protests across Albania demanding the resignation of the prime minister, interior minister, tourism minister and the head of police, who protesters blamed for the incident.

Tourism minister Mirela Kumbaro blamed the national chief of police for the crash, the third such accident to happen on beaches in Albania this summer.

“An angel is no longer among us because of the stupidity of a man who broke every law, every rule and every norm with tragically irreversible consequences,” she told Albanian Daily News.

“With awareness that there are no words to serve as a consolation for the parents, the family for the tragedy they suffered, the request goes to justice to do its job, without compromise, with maximum punishment for anyone who breaks the law.”

In the immediate aftermath, police chief Gledis Nano sacked some 15 officers who were meant to be patrolling the beach that day.