Michael Reid, the group leader who shot dead a polar bear after it mauled a British schoolboy, tried to fire his gun four times, only for his gun to jam.

Eton pupil Horatio Chapple, 17, died in the attack and his family has made arrangements to fly his body home.

A police inquiry has revealed the bear was able to attack the teenager, who was in his tent, because a tripwire protecting the camp failed. The bear stamped on the wire which should have triggered a warning shot from a gun.

The report into Friday’s tragedy said: “The bear entered the camp at Von Postbreen glacier unnoticed. It was a 40st male bear with very little content in its stomach.”

Group leader Michael Reid, 29, had suffered terrible injuries after being mauled by the bear, but managed to kill it using a Mauser gun.

In the frantic moments after the bear attacked, the hero’s gun failed to fire four times, and the 30-06 calibre rifle only went off after he picked a cartridge off the floor and reloaded.

Michael was left needing a tube in his windpipe to let him breathe and is too injured to speak. But his dad Peter, 65, from Plymouth, got an email from him.

He said: “Michael was bothered because he was one of the expedition leaders and feels if he had moved faster it might have been different.”

Horatio’s surgeon dad David, 49, and GP mum Olivia, 46, who were in Tromso arranging to fly their son home to Bishopstone, Wilts, said: “We appreciate how supportive the Norwegians have been during this painful time.”