REME Diver sent to his death in faulty suit

#1
apologies if this has been posted elsewhere:
Daily Mail said:
Army diver sent to his death in suit condemned as 'dangerous'
Last updated at 11:12am on 25th January 2007

The army sent a diver to his death in a suit they knew was faulty and then presented his widow with a bill for the ambulance, an inquest will hear.


Sgt Bill McLellan, 34, who was serving with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, drowned on a 2004 training exercise in Germany after his standard-issue apparatus, known as Saba, sprang a leak and his radio failed.

The case will fuel concerns that the armed forces are not properly equipped.

His widow, Elaine, from Kingston-on-Thames, told the Standard: "I hold the MoD wholly responsible for my husband's death."

Lawyers for Mrs McLellan will reveal at Westminster coroner's court that the apparatus was condemned as antiquated and dangerous in a secret MoD inquiry in 2002.

The inquiry, by Commodore Richard Pelly of the then Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, demanded that the Saba equipment be replaced.

But this did not happen for several years.

That inquiry was ordered after two other military divers drowned using Saba gear.

The MoD admitted liability for Sgt McLellan’s death last year.

The inquest into the case has been opened and adjourned four times before this weeks full hearing.

Part of the delay arose because the officers leading the exercise in which Sgt McLellan died were court-martialled for manslaughter.

They were acquitted after the case collapsed.

Since liability has already been admitted, the coroner is expected to reach a narrative verdict.

The MoD has apologised for sending the ambulance bill.
 
#2
In the name of sanity what kn*b would send an invoice to a widow. This beggars belief and the individual should have had an interview without coffee for this act.

MOD really had to admit liability. Someone saw sense in the end.

Condolences to his family.


fastmedic
 
#3
Unfuckingbelievable some one should have been sacked at the very least for that,sending a bill for an ambulance
 
#4
fastmedic said:
In the name of sanity what kn*b would send an invoice to a widow. This beggars belief and the individual should have had an interview without coffee for this act.
Almost certainly the British Forces Germany Health Service, AKA Guy's & St Thomas's/SSAFA/AMS. G&T are responsible for dealing with bills, though it is hard to understand why they failed to pay for the ambulance themselves. Mind you, these are the same people who, when I last worked in Germany (2003) had such a poor reputation for not paying bills, or paying slowly, that I once had to ring their Finance Director at home because a hospital refused to provide a specialised brace to a cancer patient unless they had a guarantee of payment.

I recall several patients in non-contract hospitals being asked to sign guarantees of payment themselves, because BFGHS had failed to deal with the admin prior to admission.

BFGHS once sent letters to cancer patients asking if they'd apply for some EU form immediately, so that MoD wouldn't have to pay for their treatment, which wasn't available in their contract hospitals.
 
#5
I know H+S bods are sometimes seen as the anti-christ in certain eyes, but surely there are some basic levels of health and safety inspections of life preserving equipment?

Is it time to apply corporate manslaughter to the actions of the chain of command (or at least in this example, the MOD), as they were already on record as stating that they knew the equipment was duff, but still allowed it to be used, ending in the tragic death of Sgt McLellan.
 
#6
I read that article, but I am not sure how accurate it is. They say he was REME, but in the photo, he is badged as RE.
 
#7
He was Ex RE rebadged to the REME in the RS trade, Billy the fish was a cracking bloke and he showed how much he loved to dive after transfering. A sad loss made worse by the knowledge the kit is not as good as it could be.
 
#8
The HSE do not do follow ups in Germany. They perhaps ought to for Military things?

The SABA was to be replaced, and this incident happened when the faults were identified by MOD - but not notified to diving instructors or supervisors so the guys who were charged did not know there were faults. The MOD have accepted liability for the death.

the replacement kit (SABA Mod 1) has now also been found to be deficient i believe.
 
#9
fastmedic said:
In the name of sanity what kn*b would send an invoice to a widow. This beggars belief and the individual should have had an interview without coffee for this act.
I don't believe there is even a requirement for an interview.

msr
 

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