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British father-of-two who died in skydiving accident ‘was given the jump by his wife’


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A British father-of-two who died in a skydiving accident over the Grand Canyon was ‘given the jump by his wife as a 30th wedding anniversary gift’.

Christopher Swales, 55, died on Sunday morning after jumping in tandem with another man, whilst on holiday with his with Deborah, 53.

The couple had renewed their wedding vows in October and his adoring wife decided to surprise him with a gift during their holiday to Arizona.

Mr Swales’ family have now said he had ‘always wanted’ to do a skydive and had been thrilled by the gift from his wife.

It is understood that Mr Swales was on holiday with his wife of more than 30 years, Deborah, (above) who is now trying to find out what went so terribly wrong

The father-of-two had been jumping in tandem with another man, who suffered a broken leg, as part of a package bought through a company called Paragon Skydive. A picture form their promotional material is shown

The father-of-two had been jumping in tandem with another man, who suffered a broken leg, as part of a package bought through a company called Paragon Skydive. A picture form their promotional material is shown

Speaking to The Sun his sister, Caroline Peter, 61 said: ‘It was their 30th wedding anniversary.

‘They renewed their vows. The skydive was arranged as a gift. He had not done one before.’     

Mrs Swales is now said to be trying to find out what went so terribly wrong with purchase from the Paragon Skydive company.

The other man who had also been involved in the accident suffered a broken leg.

Mr Swales, who was due to turn 56 on Monday, ran his own successful joinery business in Harrogate, north Yorkshire, and was a well known figure in the area. 

He was step-father to his wife’s eldest son Alan. 

Caroline added: ‘He was a devoted family man. He was just the best brother ever. I just want him home.’

Mr Swales (above with his wife), 55, killed in a sky diving tragedy in the Grand Canyon National Park on Sunday

Mr Swales (above with his wife), 55, killed in a sky diving tragedy in the Grand Canyon National Park on Sunday

In a statement his family described him as the ‘best dad and friend anyone could ask for’.   

‘Dad was fiercely loyal to his friends but especially his wife and family who he spent his entire life providing for’.

Yesterday locals spoke of their shock at the news.    

One neighbour said: ‘It’s an absolute tragedy. We used to see him coming and going in his van. He was always so friendly.

‘I understand his wife is over there liaising with embassy officials. Our thoughts are with her and her children.’

No one in the street knew when Mrs Swales would be returning.

One said: ‘Chris was a lovely fellow and we couldn’t believe it when we heard it on the news.

‘He was a loving husband and dad and we can’t imagine how his wife is feeling.’

Mr Swales ran CJ Swales Joinery from his home, specialising in kitchen planning and installation. 

Mr Swales, who was due to turn 56 on Monday, ran his own successful joinery business in Harrogate, north Yorkshire, and was a well known figure in the area

Mr Swales, who was due to turn 56 on Monday, ran his own successful joinery business in Harrogate, north Yorkshire, and was a well known figure in the area

Locals in Harrogate spoke of their shock at the news. One neighbour said: 'It's an absolute tragedy. We used to see him coming and going in his van. He was always so friendly. Our thoughts are with his wife and her children'

Locals in Harrogate spoke of their shock at the news. One neighbour said: ‘It’s an absolute tragedy. We used to see him coming and going in his van. He was always so friendly. Our thoughts are with his wife and her children’

Coconino County sheriff's officials received a call on call Sunday about two men who were injured after skydiving in tandem. It is understood the two men encountered difficulties when approaching the landing area, and were in free-fall before hitting the ground, authorities said

Coconino County sheriff’s officials received a call on call Sunday about two men who were injured after skydiving in tandem. It is understood the two men encountered difficulties when approaching the landing area, and were in free-fall before hitting the ground, authorities said

The tragedy took place close to a small Arizona airport near Grand Canyon National Park, authorities said.

Coconino County sheriff’s officials received a call on call Sunday about two men who were injured after skydiving in tandem.

It is understood the two men encountered difficulties when approaching the landing area, and were in free-fall before hitting the ground, authorities said. It is not known how long they were falling.

Investigators said Mr Swales had purchased a package that included a tandem jump from Paragon Skydive.

Calls to the skydiving company went to a voicemail message saying the company’s message box was full.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating and didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment about Paragon’s safety record.

Coconino County sheriff’s officials said in a statement that ‘there are no indications that the incident is criminal in nature.’

A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘Our staff are supporting the family of a British man following his death in the USA. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time’. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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