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Last Updated: Monday, 15 March, 2004, 16:25 GMT
Minister mourns skydive daughter
Clare Barnes
Clare Barnes had skydived over sites around Australia
The daughter of newsreader Carol Barnes and Foreign Office Minister Denis MacShane has died in a skydiving accident in Melbourne, Australia.

It is thought Clare Barnes, 24, died after her parachute malfunctioned. A coroner will investigate her death.

Police say she was attempting her 200th jump, from 14,000ft (4,270m).

Her family said she died doing what she enjoyed most, which was "living at the edge of experience in a sport that gave her immense pleasure".

'Beautiful young woman'

Her parents said: "After she jumped with friends from the plane she kissed her boyfriend as they flew together in the blue skies of Australia where she found happiness.

Foreign Office Minister Denis MacShane and newsreader Carol Barnes
Denis MacShane and Carol Barnes: "We are in shock"
"Her parachutes malfunctioned and she fought to control her fall all the way to the final, instant oblivion.

"She will live forever in the memory of her parents, family and friends."

They added she was "a beautiful young woman who made more friends in her short life than most manage over long decades".

Miss Barnes' parents are due to fly to Australia to make funeral arrangements.

Carol Barnes, an ITN newscaster, and Europe Minister Mr MacShane had a long-running relationship in the early 1980s but never married.

Her parachutes malfunctioned and she fought to control her fall all the way to the final, instant oblivion
Family statement
He is a former BBC journalist and president of the National Union of Journalists.

Skydive City Club representative Luke McWilliam, a friend of Miss Barnes, said she had skydived over sites around Australia and had been with the club for two years.

"She was a very positive person, a brilliant person, we are all in shock," he said.

Formation attempt

Mr McWilliam said Miss Barnes was attempting a nine-way formation over Barwon Heads, north-west of Melbourne, when tragedy struck on Sunday.

No-one else was injured in the incident.

The skydive club will be closed for "a number of days" and club members are planning a memorial service.

Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Association and the Australian Skydiving Association will investigate the incident and a report will be prepared for the coroner.

Profile: Denis MacShane
16 Oct 02  |  Politics


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