Irwin Mitchell trainee survives charity parachute mishap

An Irwin Mitchell trainee has cheated death after her parachute failed to open during a 10,000 ft charity skydive.

Third seat trainee Cheryl Palmer Hughes was left “terrified” when her equipment failed during the challenge to raise more then £3,500 for children’s charity Tiny Babies with ten other colleagues from the firm.

But the 27-year-old admitted she only survived the malfunction due to the quick thinking of her instructor, who managed to open the safety parachute during the tandem freefall.

She said: “It was only six or seven seconds but as soon as I realised the parachute hadn’t opened I did start to panic. It was even more scary for the people who were watching on the ground because the officials started to shout ‘parachute malfunction’ and they were the ones who still had to do their jumps after me.”

Experts at the airfield in Shropshire said it was extremely rare for parachutes to fail and told the former College of Law student that she was lucky her reserve chute had worked.

Prior to the jump Palmer Hughes and her colleagues hosted several smaller fundraisers to boost funds for their chosen charity.

Their efforts saw them organise book and cake sales, a bag-packing morning at a supermarket and a sponsored dress-up day, that saw two members of staff don babygrows to toddle round the office collecting cash.