Drama as paragliding treat goes wrong for Mold family


Andrew Bowan

A FATHER and son were left dangling from a schooner’s mast when a paragliding treat in Northern Cyprus went disastrously wrong.

Richard Brown and his 14-year-old son Aled were left suspended 25ft above the boat’s deck after the speedboat towing their parachute made a catastrophic miscalculation.

Instead of soaring over the high-masted pleasure cruiser, the parachute became stuck in the top mast, leaving the pair dangling and helpless.

The crew of the Gulet Sabrina grabbed all available cushions and padding to soften the impact in case the pair fell to the deck.

But the parachute and strapping were firmly stuck in the mast and rigging.

Father and son were left dangling for almost half an hour while the Sabrina crew tried to rescue them.

Virtually the whole of the Escape Beach Resort came to a standstill as hundreds of holidaymakers watched the drama unfold.

The Sabrina had stopped for a swimming pit stop at the Turkish Cypriot resort popular for jetskiing, paragliding and banana-boating.

Watching on frantically was Aled’s mum Sharon Brown, who was raised in Mold and attended St David’s Primary School before going on to St Richard Gwyn High in Flint.

The former Wrexham Maelor Hospital nurse had her heart in her mouth as the delicate operation to extricate her husband and son from their perilous position continued.

Eventually crewman Namik Rizki was hoisted up the mast in a breeches buoy to the pair.

He managed to free Aled first and to loud cheers and clapping, he brought him down before repeating the feat to rescue Mr Brown, a 47-year-old health worker from Pontadawe, near Swansea. 

The couple’s two other sons, Geralt, 19, and 16-year-old Rhodri, had stayed home in South Wales.

“I told them not to go,” said Mrs Brown, who met her husband at a hospital in Swansea after moving down to a job there following her training at the Maelor.

Mr Brown insists he did not panic when their parachute got caught in the mast.

“I knew we were in trouble when I felt a sudden jerk and we were hanging in mid air,” he said.

Aled said he had expressed some fear as the chute snagged.

Mr Brown, who was carrying the weight of his son’s body as well as his own from the strapping, suffered bruised ribs and arms and was happy to get back on terra firma.

See full story in the Leader

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