British Man Dies in Skydiving Accident at Grand Canyon Airport

By Wire Service Content

Two men were injured—one fatally—while skydiving in tandem in Arizona on Sunday.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the area of the Grand Canyon National Park Airport around 9:55 a.m. to reports of two men injured in a skydiving accident.

California condors
Rare and endangered California condors fly near the Vermillion Cliffs and Marble Gorge, east of Grand Canyon National Park, on March 22, 2007 west of Page, Arizona. (David McNew/Getty Images)

One suffered a broken leg and was transported to the Flagstaff Medical Center. The other, identified as Christopher Swales, was unconscious when deputies arrived, and paramedics performed lifesaving efforts on site, the sheriff’s office said.

Swales, a 55-year-old from the United Kingdom, was later pronounced dead by doctors from the Flagstaff Medical Center.

The men’s skydive had been going as planned until the two approached the landing area, where difficulties caused them to free fall and hit the ground in what was described as a “hard landing,” the sheriff’s office said.

horseshoe canyon overlook
The Horseshoe Bend Overlook near Page, Ariz., about 100 miles northeast of the Grand Canyon. (Peter Krocek/National Park Service)

Investigators are looking into the details of the accident, but do not currently see indications that a crime was committed, the sheriff’s office said. The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and also is investigating the incident.