Defence has just announced that a Royal Australian Navy sailor has died overseas while on deployment in the western Pacific.
CAPTION: HMAS Leeuwin transits the Hinatuan Passage during a commemorative service for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Surigao Strait in the Philippines. Photo by Leading Seaman Tara Byrne.
A Defence spokes person said it was with great sadness that Defence could confirm that a Navy member died following a recreational diving accident in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia.
“The sailor was a member of ship’s company of HMAS Leeuwin, which was visiting Yap for a regional engagement activity.
“He was participating in a recreational scuba diving excursion with a civilian dive operator.
“The sailor’s body was returned to Australia today via RAAF C-130 aircraft.
“Defence is providing support to the member’s family who have asked that their privacy be respected at this time.”
HMAS Leeuwin is currently deployed as part of a task group on the Royal Australian Navy’s largest deployment of the year.
More than 1000 sailors and officers are participating in a range of engagements, from high-end warfare exercises and port visits to cultural and commemorative engagements, across north and south-east Asia.
Lead elements of the nine-ship, two-submarine task group left Sydney on 26 September for the four-month deployment, led by air-warfare destroyer HMAS Hobart on her first overseas deployment.