Tourist who died skydiving in Grand Canyon had holes in parachute – New York Post

A British tourist who died while skydiving in the Grand Canyon had been given a parachute with holes in it, according to a report.

Christopher Swales, 55, died last September during a tandem leap with an instructor that had been a 30th wedding anniversary gift from his wife, according to the Sun. His instructor survived with a broken leg.

Police who checked the equipment found tears in the parachute as well as “numerous” patches that had been sewn on, according to a report obtained by the UK paper.

Pictures showed a series of holes “circled with pen to track movement, or continuing tear, of the material,” the report said, according to the Sun.

The fatal leap was also when winds were at 27 mph, which is 2 mph more than would have been permitted for a jump had Swales been home in the UK.

Police closed the case without action, however, concluding the tragedy had been an accident.

Paragon Skydive has blamed its military-trained instructor Matthew McGonagle, 34, for “panicking” and turning too sharply when he missed the landing zone, according to the paper.

Christopher Swales with wife Debbie
Christopher Swales with wife DebbieFacebook

“All the equipment was functioning 100 percent correctly,” a spokesman told the Sun. “It was maintained according to the regulations.”

Swales’ wife, Deborah, 53, who bought him the jump after they renewed their vows in Arizona, declined to comment on the report.