A 60-year-old man, identified as Jonathan Smith, jumped into the sea to help rescue his two grandsons, aged seven and 10, according to local coastguard officials.
The Times reported that the two boys were caught in strong currents in the craggy bay of Gouves, off northern Crete.
Reports reveal that Mr Smith dived into the water to save his grandchildren with a coastguard team assisting to recover the two boys.
Despite both boys surviving, Mr Smith tragically drowned.
A local cafe owner told The Times: “At some point he just got exhausted and it was impossible for rescue crew to reach him because of the turbulence in the water.”
The boys were taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
According to reports from Greek media, they were both said to be in shock, receiving psychological support after the loss of their grandfather.
Mr Smith’s son David told the Sun: “I can’t believe I’ll never see him again.
“I loved my dad very much. He is my hero. I still can’t believe I’m never going to see him again after he left to go on his holidays. It’s an unexpected tragedy.”
The tragedy happened when Mr Smith was on holiday with his wife and daughter, the children’s mother. He was minding the children, with his wife, when the boys decided to leave the main beach.
It is understood Mr Smith had recently retired from North Lanarkshire Council and working for NHS part-time.