United Kingdom

British tourist, 55, who plunged to his death in a skydiving accident given a parachute with HOLES

A British father who plunged to his death while skydiving in the Grand Canyon was given a parachute with holes, it has been revealed.

Christopher Swales, 55, had been jumping in tandem with an instructor as a 30th wedding anniversary gift from his wife in September.

But the father-of-two, from Harrogate, north Yorkshire, was killed when something went wrong as he came into land. His instructor survived with a broken leg. 

Mr Swales was found unconscious following the tragic accident at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport but later died from his injuries in hospital. 

Christopher Swales, 55, had been jumping in tandem with an instructor as a 30th wedding anniversary gift from his wife Deborah in September

The skydiving had been bought as part of a package through a company called Paragon Skydive - but investigators later found the parachute was damaged.

According to a report by investigators, obtained by The Sun, the canopy had 'numerous' holes that had been patched up and circled with pen to track the 'continuing tear' of the fabric.

The jump also took place when winds were at 27mph - 2mph more than what is allowed for a leap in the UK. 

U.S police have since closed the case and ruled his death as an accident, with the skydiving company insisting: 'All the equipment was functioning 100 per cent correctly'.

He was found unconscious after the fall at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport but later died from his injuries in hospital 

The father-of-two, from Harrogate, north Yorkshire, was killed when he came into land when something went wrong. His instructor survived with a broken leg 

'It was maintained according to the regulations.' 

The firm blamed the instructor Matthew McGonagle, 34, for 'panicking' when turning too quickly when he missed the landing point - and the pair were in free-fall before hitting the ground, according to the publication.

Mr Swales, who was due to turn 56 just days before his death, ran his own successful joinery business and was a well known figure in the area.

He was step-father to his wife Deborah's eldest son Alan and the couple renewed their wedding vows last October after 30 years of marriage. 

Mr Swales was found unconscious after the fall at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport but later died from his injuries in hospital 

The skydiving had been bought as part of a package bought through a company called Paragon Skydive - but investigators later found the parachute was damaged