Ex-RN EOD operator killed in Sudan

Farewell to an old friend. Ex-CPO(D) Stephen 'Darby' Allan who died after a demining incident last Friday. RIP.
Sudan Tribune 20 Oct 2010 said:
October 19, 2010 (JUBA) - A United Nations-led inquiry has started into the death of a British national working with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) who died after an explosion in Kapoeta, capital of Eastern Equatoria state Friday 15 October.

Despite medical attention Stephen “Darby” Allan died a few hours after the incident, which occurred around midday local time.

Allan, 52, one of MAG’s Technical Field Managers, was working with a mine clearance team, in Kapoeta, where mines and other unexploded Ordinance (UXO’s) a deadly reminder of the 22 year civil war between south Sudan and a succession northern governments.

The explosion occurred at a clearing site with nobody else was injured.

MAG’s Chief Executive, Lou McGrath OBE paid tribute Darby describing him as a highly-qualified and hugely experienced member of the organization’s international technical team.

“Darby’s death has left all of us in MAG shocked and saddened. Our main concern at present is to provide whatever support we can to his family and loved ones. Darby used his skills and significant experience to support the humanitarian mine clearance effort that MAG is undertaking in southern Sudan, and elsewhere around the world, and there is no doubt that over the last four years his work with MAG has saved countless people’s lives. He will be greatly missed by all his colleagues and friends,” McGrath said in a statement received by Sudan Tribune from MAG’s headquarters in Manchester, UK.

Andy Glesson, Darby’s former Line Manager and one of MAG’s longest-standing members of expert technical staff, said of the latter, “Darby was a great team member with a dry humour. A dependable, affable technician who managed several clearance teams with skill and determination. His death is a huge loss both to MAG and the EOD world.”

While in the British Royal Navy he specialised in underwater and shoreline clearance, including a six year posting in Hong Kong.

In 2006 Darby joined MAG as a Technical Field Manager in their Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) programme.

During his two years in DRC MAG says he was involved in many lifesaving clearance projects ‘including the underwater removal of 18 items of UXO (unexploded ordnance) and more than 17,000 items of small arms ammunition found in Mbandaka Harbour.’

Before what tragically became his final deployment in Sudan, Darby led the clearance of unexploded cluster ammunitions in Lebanon.

MAG currently operates as an implementing partner to the UN Mine Action Office in Sudan (UNMAO), according to Joe Contreras, the Public Information Officer at UNMIS.
Darby was also involved in the RN EOD clearance of Kuwait's beaches, harbours, coastal waters and other areas during and after GW1. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
I used to know Darby quite well and this has come as a shock.
Always the profesisonal diver and navy man.
A very sad lose for all. My thoughts go out to his mum, sisters and brother.

I have received an email from Stephen's sister thanking Camp Freddie for his post:

I would appreciate it if you could thank one of your contributors, or post my
thanks on the forum...Camp Freddie for his post about my brother...Stephen "Darby" Allan,
who died recently whilst clearing mines in the Sudan. He is the only person so far to
remember that Stephen actually still had a mother and extended family and that we too
mourn the loss of our brother.
Please do pass on my sincere thanks.
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