Hampshire Skier Dies Following Avalanche

An experienced Hampshire skier has died after being buried by an avalanche in the French Alps, it was confirmed today.

David Robinson and his wife Chrissy were skiing with friends in the resort of Val D'Isere on Boxing Day when they were trapped.

His wife, from Hamble, near Southampton, Hampshire, managed to inflate a safety airbag to enable rescuers to locate her position in the Combe du Signal.

But Mr Robinson, 67, was unable to do the same and he was found due to a transceiver device which emits a pulse signal before being airlifted to hospital in Grenoble.

Their ski guide, Wayne Watson, said Mr Robinson, a former Olympic sailing coach who had retired from his sail-making company, died yesterday with his wife and best friend by his side.

Speaking from Val D'Isere, Canadian Mr Watson - who had known Mr Robinson for more than 10 years - said it was a "tragic accident''.

He said:

"I was out with six clients who all had beepers and all had airbags with them. They were regular clients who knew the business well.

"It was one of those things. I have been doing this for about 30 years and we ski off piste seven days a week.

"There are times when the mountains just let go. It was a tragic accident. We try our best to keep people safe.

"David was a great guy. I had known him for at least 10 years. He will be sadly missed. It was just dreadful.''

He added that Mr Robinson's wife had shown "amazing'' strength and last night toasted his life with his favourite wines.

"Chrissy's really quite amazing,'' said Mr Watson. "She made me feel a whole lot better. I have never seen anyone quite like her.''

She will be staying in France to finalise arrangements for her husband's body to be returned to the UK, he added.