SBS commander killed on assault exercise

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SBS commander killed on assault exercise
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 16/03/2005)

The commanding officer of the Special Boat Service has died in a Norwegian hospital after a diving accident during a major amphibious assault exercise off Narvik.

Lt-Col Richard van der Horst was exiting a swimmer delivery vehicle - a mini-submarine allowing SBS commandos to infiltrate enemy territory undetected - but details of what went wrong in the accident last week were unclear and were expected to be subject to an investigation, said defence sources.

His wife was at his bedside when he died on Monday. Lt-Col van der Horst, in his early forties, was awarded an MBE for his work in British Special Forces in Iraq.
condolencies to allhis family and friends and colleagues

"Oh Lord He wasn't too careful of the things he had said and done
He boasted too much of his nights on the spree, and the games of pontoon that he won,
But he always did his duty, no matter where it may be, ashore with the gallant Commandos,
or out with the Fleet at sea.
So when Gabriel blows his last trumpet, and the Reaper his harvest doth glean,
remember, if he's been a Sinner, At least God he's been a Marine".

This Royal Marines prayer was found on a Royal Marines Headstone in Libya, North Africa.


Kit Reviewer
cdo_gunner said:
I heard about this last week. It wasn't at Narvik but at a Norwegian naval base just outside Tromsø last Monday.

For those that read Norwegian, here's the report in the local paper from this Monday

A (very) rough translation.

Diver Dead

By Trondar Lien
The 38 year old British soldier who last Monday was involved in a diving accident near Olavsvern, died Monday morning.

The accident happened last Monday afternoon, in the area of Olafsvern. Members of the British unit (the) Special Boat Service were conducting dive training in conection with a minisub in one of the halls. (?)

The 38 year old military diver had problems and was immediately treated by British Military medical personel and brought to UNN (hospital) for further treatment.

For a week his condition has been stable but serious for the 38 year old British soldier. He has received (all) the medical treatment possible but died nevertheless at UNN.

– I expect to be kept informed, but this is an entirely British concern, says the CO of Olavsvern, Commander Geir Bentzen.

Since it is the British themselves that are handling this the CO of Olavsvern officially has little to do with the exercising British troops.

– But all the same it is natural that we are informed so we can respond, not least in a respectful manner, says Commander Geir Bentzen.
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