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The widow of a ski guide who tragically perished in a helicopter crash in the Swiss Alps that claimed the lives of three people has fought back the tears at his funeral today.

Caroline George, who wept as she held her daughter Olivia, emotionally paid tribute to her husband Adam George at an emotional service attended by hundreds of mourners in a woodland clearing.

During a eulogy, Caroline heartbreakingly revealed that on a family outing the day before the crash Mr George had told Olivia it would be his ‘last day skiing with her’ and how much he was looking forward to mountain biking with her.

The 45-year-old, who hailed from New Hampshire in the United States, was one of three killed in the horror air crash atop Petit Combin last Tuesday morning.

Among those in attendance at the moving service was British skier Edward Courage, who heroically saved the lives of two other Britons during the crash and left his hospital bed in a wheelchair to pay tribute the the ski guide.

Widow of US guide killed in Alps helicopter avalanche tragedy hugs her daughter as they say their last farewell at his funeral… before bravely consoling British hero who saved two brothers in the disaster

Caroline George holds her daughter Olivia as the pair stand over the coffin of husband and father Adam at his funeral 

Adam's widow Caroline embraces Edward George, who was one of the people on board the helicopter as it crashed in the Swiss Alps last week

Adam’s widow Caroline embraces Edward George, who was one of the people on board the helicopter as it crashed in the Swiss Alps last week

Mourners walk past the coffin of ski guide Adam George at a funeral service in the Swiss Alps this afternoon

Mourners walk past the coffin of ski guide Adam George at a funeral service in the Swiss Alps this afternoon

Adam George pictured with his wife Caroline and daughter Olivia skiing in the Swiss Alps

Adam George pictured with his wife Caroline and daughter Olivia skiing in the Swiss Alps

Mr Courage arrived with wife Nicola and watched the service – in a woodland clearing amidst the stunning Swiss Alps – sitting in a wheelchair with his left arm in a sling.

The 68-year-old had saved fellow Britons, Guy Hutchings, 23, and his 18-year-old brother Teddy, by pushing them from the aircraft as it plunged to the ground.

Mr George was laid to rest during a moving two-hour funeral service conducted in English and French in the village of Cries, near the ski resort of Verbier in southern Switzerland.

Caroline and their daughter Olivia wept and held each other as they gazed at a loving family photo of the three of them skiing on a mountain which adorned his pine coffin.

Mrs George later fought back tears as she addressed the 500 mourners who had gathered near a hiking trail close to their family home, which her late-husband had designed and built.

She said: ‘Adam, before anything else you’re Olivia’s daddy. She was your greatest pride.

‘Everything you did was always for her best.

‘On your last day, we skied together and you told her this would be your last day skiing with her. I wonder did you know?

‘In one of your last messages you wrote how much your were looking forward to biking with her during the holidays.

She was always your priority and she wrote to you ‘daddy, you make me believe in magic.’

Mr George's daughter Olivia sits at the service flanked by her mother Caroline and his father Gary

Mr George’s daughter Olivia sits at the service flanked by her mother Caroline and his father Gary

Adam George's coffin is carried to a woodland clearing high in the Swiss Alps following the tragic helicopter crash

Adam George’s coffin is carried to a woodland clearing high in the Swiss Alps following the tragic helicopter crash

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Adam George across a bridge towards a woodland clearing where his funeral service was held

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Adam George across a bridge towards a woodland clearing where his funeral service was held

Hundreds of people stand, sit and lie in a woodland clearing where the ski guide was laid to rest today

Hundreds of people stand, sit and lie in a woodland clearing where the ski guide was laid to rest today

Mourners hug each other as they gather at the funeral of Adam George in Switzerland on Monday

Mourners hug each other as they gather at the funeral of Adam George in Switzerland on Monday

Mrs George, who is also a Swiss mountain guide, said she and her husband met 18-years ago while climbing in America.

She told the service how she accidentally dropped her ice axes, which narrowly missed her future husband as he prepared to climb below.

She continued: ‘A few months later we randomly met up in Canada and you asked ‘are you the girl who dropped those ice axes on me?’

‘Three months later you proposed to me in Colorado. We got married right away. This was 18-years ago

‘Adam you gave me the hope and belonging at a time I needed it so much.

‘You gave me absolutely everything. I cannot remember a life without you and I can never ever imagine a life without you. I still can’t.

‘On that last night we told each other how we could never live without each other.

‘It was a magical spell in the way we met. Maybe that magical spell is what m took you away because how can someone so perfect just disappear in such a freak accident.’

Caroline George delivers an emotional eulogy to her husband at a funeral service days after he tragically died in a helicopter crash in the Swiss Alps

Caroline George delivers an emotional eulogy to her husband at a funeral service days after he tragically died in a helicopter crash in the Swiss Alps

Caroline George cries as she consoles Edward Courage, who was also onboard the helicopter when it crashed

Caroline George cries as she consoles Edward Courage, who was also onboard the helicopter when it crashed

Edward Courage attended the funeral of his friend Adam George in a wheelchair after sustaining serious injuries in the same crash that claimed the life of the ski guide

Edward Courage attended the funeral of his friend Adam George in a wheelchair after sustaining serious injuries in the same crash that claimed the life of the ski guide

Loved ones walk past Mr George's coffin as they pay their respects to the beloved ski guide

Loved ones walk past Mr George’s coffin as they pay their respects to the beloved ski guide

Mr George's mother and father greet mourners at the service in the Swiss Alps on Monday afternoon

Mr George’s mother and father greet mourners at the service in the Swiss Alps on Monday afternoon

Mr George's brother, Ryan, and the rest of his family flew to Switzerland from the United States for the funeral

Mr George’s brother, Ryan, and the rest of his family flew to Switzerland from the United States for the funeral

Mourners gather in the picturesque Swiss Alps where they said farewell to American ski guide Adam George

Mourners gather in the picturesque Swiss Alps where they said farewell to American ski guide Adam George

Mrs George said she would cherish her husband’s ‘blissful smile’ and added: ‘Adam you were the best son, the best father and the best husband.

‘You showed me what infinite and unconditional love is. You were the greatest gift to the world.

‘Adam I love you, I always have and I always will.’

Mr George’s father, Gary flew in for the ceremony with wife Carol and other relatives from New Hampshire.

He said he was in ‘awe’ of the love and respect his son had received and told friends, family and colleagues present: ‘Adam is in these mountains. If you have any problems, look up and you’ll find Adam.

‘His love, his passion, his soul was in these mountains’

Mr George’s brother, Ryan, also paid tribute and said: ‘My brother was an amazing and wonderful guy. He did what he loved, loved his family and loved his friends.

‘Adam was always adventurous and great at anything he put his mind to.

‘I’ll continue bragging about my brother, how he was an international guide and travelled around the world doing amazing things.

‘We love you brother. We admire you. We miss you.’

Adam George, who hailed from New Hampshire in the United States, died after the helicopter he was in crashed

Adam George, who hailed from New Hampshire in the United States, died after the helicopter he was in crashed

The helicopter carrying five people, including Mr George, crashed after becoming engulfed in an avalanche

The helicopter carrying five people, including Mr George, crashed after becoming engulfed in an avalanche 

Edward Courage interviewed at Valais Hospital in Sion, Switzerland, as he recovered from the helicopter crash

Edward Courage interviewed at Valais Hospital in Sion, Switzerland, as he recovered from the helicopter crash

Guy Hutchings (pictured), 23, was in the cabin along with brother Ted, 18, and Edward Courage, of the Courage brewing family, when disaster struck

Guy Hutchings (pictured), 23, was in the cabin along with brother Ted, 18, and Edward Courage, of the Courage brewing family, when disaster struck

Mr George was one of three people who perished in the air crash. The other victims were 34-year-old skier James Goff, from County Wicklow in Ireland and the pilot of the helicopter, Jerome Lovey.

They had been aboard an Air Glaciers B3 helicopter with Mr Courage and the Hutchings which had taken them to the top of the 3,668-metre-high Petit Combin so they could ski down the mountain.

But as the aircraft prepared to land, an avalanche struck and sent it hurtling down in a barrage of snow, rock and ice.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline on Friday from his hospital bed in the town of Sion, grandfather-of-three Mr Courage revealed how he grabbed the Hutchings brothers and threw them out of the battered helicopter as it slid down the mountain.

He plummeted 500-metres before dropping another 30-metres into a half-metre wide crevasse.

Mr Courage – who has been left with a broken left arm and wrist, shattered collar bone and seven broken ribs – said: ‘We were about to land when all hell broke loose.

‘It’s normal for visibility to be poor when you land because the helicopter sends all the snow on the ground spraying upwards.

‘But all of a sudden there was a lot of snow, and these very big chunks were hitting the windscreen, and there was this tremendous noise.

‘Then there was the sensation of toppling down and I could see one of the blades slicing past the front of the helicopter at about 500mph, whether it had broken off or snapped I don’t know – but I do know it shouldn’t have been there.

‘I realised then that the helicopter wasn’t a safe place to be and our chances of survival were pretty remote so I had to get out. I’d had hold of my seat belt and had been preparing to unclick as we were about to land.

‘That enabled me to get out of my seat quickly in the confusion and I think I just sort of fumbled into Guy as I leapt out and grabbed hold of Teddy and they both sort of fell out with me.

Edward Courage interviewed at Valais Hospital in Sion, Switzerland. He is recovering from the helicopter crash that killed three skiers

Mr Courage managed to save the life of two friends by pushing them out of the craft

He recalled how the dramatic incident had happened on a day that began completely normally

He recalled how the dramatic incident had happened on a day that began completely normally

‘I fell about 500 metres down the cliff-face on my backside and I thought my time was up.

‘But I then remember feeling almost slight relief as I was beginning to slow down a little until I had another bit of bad luck – and suddenly fell into a crevasse.

‘I must have gone down about 30-metres deep and landed on a snow-bridge – which is where some of the snow and ice had collected.

‘It broke my fall, but I didn’t know how secure I was because my foot had gone through the bridge. How far the drop was below, I’ve no idea, but had it collapsed I probably wouldn’t have survived.

‘That may well have saved my life as the avalanche swept down above my head.’

Mr Courage was stuck in the crevasse for four hours but managed to summon help with an app on his mobile phone.

The vastly experienced skier who spends at least 160-days of the year on the slopes – was airlifted to intensive care at Hôpital du Valais, where he had three operations over the weekend.

The Hutchings brothers meanwhile, had been swept 1000-metres down the mountain but miraculously survived with relatively minor injuries.

Seven helicopters were sent to the site as part of the rescue effort. An investigation has been opened by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office (MPC), which is responsible for aviation accidents.

A safety investigation has also been launched by the SESE (Swiss Safety Investigation Service).

According to the Swiss weather service, there was moderate wind in the high mountains earlier in the morning.

A measuring station at a height of 2,735 metres on the nearby Verbier mountain logged an average wind of 15mph and gusts of up to 26mph.



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