Tribute to skydiving plunge victim

A man who died after colliding with another man while skydiving has been named in reports as Patrick Sandeman, one of the country's leading wine merchants.

Mr Sandeman, who was said to be aged 53, was a partner in Lea & Sandeman, the fine wine merchants.

He reportedly collided with a man who is believed to be a 28-year-old Frenchman at Sibson airfield, near Peterborough. The two men reportedly came into contact about 50 feet above the ground.

The other man was in a serious but stable condition at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said.

Jancis Robinson, a wine critic who writes for the Financial Times, paid tribute to Mr Sandeman, saying "a very bright light has been extinguished".

She wrote on her website: "I'm sure I am not alone in having found Patrick one of the most appealing and entertaining characters in the wine business.

"A total ornament to the British wine trade, he was a member of the Sandeman family of port and sherry fame, managing to be devastatingly handsome but not intimidatingly so. Charming but not oleaginous. Well informed but engaging.

"Great company, in a word - and extremely talented in his ability to hand-pick great wines from, particularly, Italy. He occupied a unique place in the world of wine. Our very deepest condolences to his equally delightful wife Katy and their children."

Emergency services went to the airfield shortly after 3.30pm on Saturday, the ambulance service said, but Mr Sandeman was pronounced dead at the scene, a spokeswoman said.

Sibson airfield has been home to a parachute centre since 1971 and was one of the first civilian drop zones in the country, according to its website.