Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Tributes to skier who died after Val d'Isère avalanche

Christine Hughes and David Robinson
Image caption The couple were both wearing safety equipment at the time of the accident

Tributes have been paid to a man from Southampton who died after being caught in an avalanche while skiing in France.

David Robinson, 67, from Hamble, near Southampton, was in Val d'Isère with his wife, Christine Hughes, on Sunday when the the avalanche struck.

Ms Hughes managed to activate a safety airbag and was dug out by the couple's ski guide, Wayne Watson, but Mr Robinson died in hospital on Monday.

Mr Watson said Ms Hughes had been inundated with messages of support.

'Strong and brave'

Writing on his blog, he said: "I've been overwhelmed with the support Chrissy, Alpine and I've received from so many of you who've skied with us over the years.

"She was incredibly touched by your kind words and the volume of e-mails that have come in, and your concern means the world to both of us and everyone at Alpine.

"She is being so strong and brave and taking strength from the fact that David has ended his life amongst friends, in a place he loved, and doing something he was passionate about."

Mr Hughes was well known among the sailing community and had been a member of the Royal Southern Yacht Club for 35 years.

A reception was held in his memory in a village restaurant in Val d'Isère on Tuesday and arrangements are being made to return Mr Robinson's body to the UK.

The pair had been skiing off-piste when the avalanche hit. Mr Robinson was trapped in the snow for about 20 minutes before he was found and dug out.

Mr Watson said Mr Robinson had been located using an avalanche beacon, a beeping device used to find skiiers, and airlifted to hospital in Grenoble.

He died the following day with his wife and best friend Keith by his side, Mr Watson said.

The couple, who had been together for 22 years and married for three years, had been due to stay at the French resort for a month.

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