March 27, 2019 – The New Zealand Defence Force is saddened to confirm that Able Communications Technician Zachary Christopher Yarwood (23) died in North Shore Hospital yesterday following an incident during a dive training exercise on Monday night at the Devonport Naval Base.
Able Communications Technician Yarwood joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2013 and served in HMNZS Te Kaha and Philomel. At the time of the incident, he was on an advanced diver training course, looking to join HMNZS Matataua as a qualified diver.
“My condolences are with Zachary’s fiancée, his parents and his two beloved brothers as they, along with us, come to terms with his passing,” said Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor.
“Today the Navy is mourning a young sailor who had already packed so much into his career and embodied our core values of courage, commitment and comradeship in everything he did,” said Rear Admiral Proctor. “Zachary’s loss will affect not only his family, but many within the Navy and the wider NZDF whanau.”
Able Communications Technician Yarwood’s family are being supported by a Family Liaison Officer, his shipmates and the Royal New Zealand Navy. The NZDF requests that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.
Police, WorkSafe NZ and the Coroner are investigating the incident. The NZDF will be conducting a Court of Inquiry.