A parachute jump that a 55-year-old Briton received as a gift from his wife in honor of their 30-year marriage turned out to be an absolute tragedy. Christopher Swales, together with an instructor, jumped over the Grand Canyon in the American state of Arizona during their holiday. But while steering towards the landing spot, problems arose with the parachute, and the duo crashed hard to the ground.
According to British and American media, Swales died of his serious injuries shortly after landing and left his wife Deborah (53), looking on the ground, inconsolable. On the occasion of their wedding anniversary, the couple toured the western United States.
Last year in October the two renewed their wedding vows at a party for family and friends. And there, Christopher Swales saw his ultimate wish come true. His wife, with whom he has two children, gave him an envelope containing the ticket for ‘the jump of his life’.
The police are currently investigating how things could have gone so wrong during the exciting outing of the company Paragon Skydive, where the instructor who accompanied Swales works. The American, like the British tourist, landed extremely hard, but ‘only’ had a broken leg left.
According to the relatives of the deceased man, he had never made a parachute jump before. Caroline Peter, the victim’s 61-year-old sister, told the British tabloid Daily Mail that she was “in complete shock” of the drama. “Christopher was a very dedicated family man and the best father and friend there is.” And, “He and his wife had a fantastic marriage. They wanted to celebrate their happiness in Arizona, but they weren’t allowed to.”
The accident took place near a small airport in the Grand Canyon National Park. According to the sheriff, the jump seemed to go well at first, but after problems with the parachute, the two went into free fall.
“It’s not known exactly how long they fell and there’s no evidence of a crime so far.” The National Commission for Transport and Security in America has asked the company Paragon Skydive for evidence for the maintenance of the parachutes and associated materials. Christopher Swales’ wife is still in the USA. The British Ministry of Foreign Affairs accompanies her return and that of her late husband.