British tourist killed in Grand Canyon skydiving accident

11 September 2019, 08:53

The man died in a skydiving accident in the state of Arizona
The man died in a skydiving accident in the state of Arizona. Picture: PA

By Sylvia DeLuca

A 55-year-old British man has died after entering "freefall" in a tandem dive near the Grand Canyon.

Christopher Swales had been undertaking a tandem dive on Sunday but something went wrong on his descent.

Mr Swales' skydiving partner who worked at a skydiving centre, survived the fall but suffered a broken leg and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Coconino County Sheriff's Office, who named Mr Swales as the victim on Tuesday, said the skydivers had "encountered difficulties while approaching the landing area" at the Grand Canyon National Park Airport.

"These difficulties caused the pair to free fall for an unknown distance and hit the ground in what was described as a 'hard landing'," a police statement said.

Emergency services were called shortly before 10am and Mr Swales was later pronounced dead in hospital.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing, according to the force, although there are currently no signs that anything criminal took place.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman confirmed that the department are supporting the man's family.

"Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time," he added.