THE family of a Scottish businessman who died from “catastrophic” injuries after a skiing accident have said they are “devastated” by their loss and will treasure memories of him.
Jeremy Salvesen, 51, was with his family in the French resort of La Clusaz, where he owned a luxury chalet, when he fell on Thursday and hit his head on a rock.
The father-of-four from Elie in Fife was rushed to hospital in nearby Annecy by emergency helicopter but reportedly died from his injuries minutes later.
A member of the Christian Salvesen transport and logistics dynasty, Mr Salvesen was previously managing director of Edinburgh chocolate makers Duncans and created online store Groovy Chocolate in 2000.
In a statement, his family said: “We are devastated by Jeremy’s death as a result of catastrophic injuries in a tragic accident in the French Alps while he was skiing on a beautiful day with a large family group.
“We all take comfort from knowing that he was doing something he loved with a big smile on his face. As always, Jeremy was pushing himself to the limit. His life has been a wonderful adventure and we treasure all our memories of him.
“We want to thank everyone at La Clusaz and at Annecy who did everything they could for Jeremy, in particular, we want to thank the expert medical professionals who cared for him.”
Police are looking into the incident, which is believed to have taken place on an “easy” run.
Founded in Leith in 1846 as Turnbull, Salvesen and Company, Christian Salvesen created Christian Salvesen & Co in 1872, buying steamers and later expanding into whaling and commercial trawlers, then house building and back to transport in the 1950s.
Family losses during the First World War led the Salvesens to build memorial Edinburgh housing developments such as the Earl Haig Gardens off East Trinity Road, Salvesen Gardens and Salvesen Crescent in Muirhouse.
Adventurer Mr Salvesen finished third with sailing partner David Thomson in the double-handed class of the Portimão Global Ocean Race on their boat Mowgli in 2009.
Despite having only learned to sail three years before entering the race, he and his more experienced partner faced treacherous conditions, at times battling 80-knot winds during the eight-month, 30,000-mile adventure, which took in South Africa, New Zealand, Brazil and the United States.
An entrepreneur and business investor involved in a number of start-up projects in Scotland, Mr Salvesen bought the French chalet in 2012.
Friends and neighbours in Elie took to social networking site Facebook to pay tribute to the businessman, who was well liked in the area.
Mr Salvesen had previously spoken of the close-knit community in the Fife village, which had celebrated his sailing success with him five years ago.
“Immense sadness and disbelief in the village today,” wrote one friend. “So hard to believe. That smile was one in a million,” said another.
Speaking after his 2009 race, Mr Salvesen said: “I’ve achieved my dream and I hope that in a very small way this helps and encourages other people, young and old, to get off their butts and have a dream and have some passion, as we have proved that anything is achievable.”
The accident was similar to that of Formula 1 motor racing star Michael Schumacher, who is still in hospital following his fall in Meribel on 29 December.