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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Cornwall Royal Marines death prompts sea depths checks

The Royal Marines have been ordered by a military safety watchdog to check the depth of water before disembarkation training after the death of a recruit.

Ethan Jones, 20, drowned after disembarking from a landing craft into deep water at Tregantle beach, Cornwall on 21 January 2020 said a report.

Recruit Jones, of Radstock, Somerset, was one of the last eight recruits who were “submerged” during the exercise.

He was found “face down in the water” and was pronounced dead in hospital.

The Defence Safety Authority report said there had been no survey of the beach since 2009 and “therefore no up-to-date beach information was available… in order to aid the beaching on the evening of the accident”.

The report recommended that a beach survey “be conducted at a suitable interval prior to beach landings during amphibious training and exercises in order to enable accurate risk assessment of the beach conditions”.

Recruit Jones’s “tragic death” came as 26 personnel were due to leave the landing craft as part of the final exercise during recruit training, said the report.

“The depth of the water for the first individual to disembark was approximately 0.77m,” said the report into the single-file disembarkation.

“The depth of water increased during the disembarkation and the last eight recruits (including Recruit Jones) of the 26 individuals to leave the craft were initially submerged.”

Rescue attempt

Two recruits on the starboard side were recovered after a crewman jumped into the water to rescue them.

Recruit Jones’s rucksack was spotted “floating in the water” off the starboard bow.

A crewman jumped in, swam back to the landing craft with Recruit Jones, and tried to resuscitate him.

Recruit Jones’s family said after the incident that he had been “fulfilling his dream and doing something he loved.[SOURCE]

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