Tributes to a ‘explosive character’ from Haywards Heath who fell 90m to his death

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

Tributes have poured in for a ‘beautiful soul’ who died after falling 90m on to rocks in Australia.

Gareth Jones, 25, a base jumper from Greenhill Way, Haywards Heath, fell after climbing a fence and walking to the edge of a cliff at North Head in Manly, Sydney.

Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones

Daniel Campbell, from Burgess Hill who lived with Gareth before he moved to Australia, posted on Facebook: “You took me over the edge. A proper mate and you’ll be missed like crazy. R.I.P buddy.”

And Daniel told the Middy: “Most people that met him have a story because he was such an explosive character, so much energy and appetite for life.”

Michelle Bishop was friends with Gareth before he moved to Australia.

Michelle said: “I feel heartbroken. I was very close to Gareth on a personal level. I don’t really want it to be true.

“He was a daredevil, always lived day by day and hated any sort of routine. He would always say, ‘do something everyday that scares you, that gets your heart pumping. You only live once’.”

She added he had a vibrant personality, cheeky smile and a twinkle in his eye.

“He was the life and soul of the party. As a friend he was always supportive. I thought so much of him as he always had time for his friends,” Michelle said.

Gareth and Michelle met in Old Buckenham in a local village pub in Norfolk, as Gareth used Old Buckenham airfield to sky dive every weekend.

Michelle said ‘no obstacle phased him’ in base jumping.

She added: “He lived the life he wanted, he had a crazy ride but it was what he loved doing.”

Gareth, who studied at Cambridge, was with four friends who witnessed the accident.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office confirmed the death of a British national in Manly, New South Wales, Australia on December 7.

“We are in touch with local authorities and providing consular assistance to the family,” the spokesman added.

North Head Lookout has magnificent views across Sydney Harbour.

Though Gareth has base jumped more than 500 times across Australia, Europe and Asia, including the 421m Kuala Lumpur Tower, it is not believed he was jumping at the time of his death.

Friends paid their respects to Gareth on social media after the incident.

Bella Smart said: “Gareth Jones. G Jones. Mate.

“So proud of the man you were becoming and the beautiful soul you let us see.

“You will be forever missed but never forgotten. Fly free.”

Weeks before he died, Gareth was attempting to raise awareness for a ‘great cause’ with his base jumping.

He posted on Facebook: “Did you know that approximately 1,000,000,000 people on earth don’t have access to clean drinking water.Please consider donating to Project: Base and help us reduce that number. Remember, every little bit helps!”