Skydive boss pays tribute to parachutist who plunged to her death

The Peterlee Parachute Centre in Shotton.
The Peterlee Parachute Centre in Shotton.

The owner of the skydive centre where a parachutist died has paid tribute to her.

Pamela Gower, who was killed in a tragic parachute accident yesterday, was 'really keen' to advance as a skydiver, said Ian Rosenvenge.

Weldon Close in Shotton Colliery where Ms Gower's parachute landed.

Weldon Close in Shotton Colliery where Ms Gower's parachute landed.

Mr Rosenvinge, who runs the Skydive Academy at Peterlee Parachute Centre, said Ms Gower had become a regular visitor at the centre and everyone was deeply upset by her death.

He said: "We really feel for her family and friends, she was a great lass. She had touched everyone's hearts at the centre.

"She really wanted to get into skydiving and had made great efforts to do so."

Mr Rosenvinge said although Ms Gower had done several jumps, both at the centre and abroad, she would still be classed as a inexperienced jumper.

The centre boss said an investigation is being carried out by the British Parachute Association, as would happen in all cases like this, and they will make a report after interviewing all those who were on the scene at the time and prior to Ms Gower's jump.

Ms Gower hit a parked car in Shotton Colliery's Weldon Close, at around 3.45pm yesterday after her parachute failed to open properly. It is believed she was using her own equipment for the jump.

The 49-year-old, from Hebburn, was taken to hospital by air ambulance, where she died from her injuries.

Ms Gower described herself as a "crazy trainee skydiver" on her Facebook page and shared a number of pictures of herself taking part in the extreme sport.

In her profile picture she is seen grinning and dressed in parachuting gear with the caption: "Nothing makes me more happy than skydiving, can't wait for the next jump!!!!"

Her cousin Anthony Cairns paid tribute to her online and said: "She certainly lived life to the full, that's for sure."

Ms Gower worked as an employment adviser for Remploy, which provides employment placements for disabled people.

A spokesman for Durham Police said: "The coroner has been informed and a post mortem will be carried out in due course.

"Our thoughts are with Ms Gower’s family at this difficult time."