Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

Navy errors in fatal diving accident Curaçao

Dutch navyWILLEMSTAD - During a diving exercise at the Navy in Curaçao in 2015, in which a 23-year-old sailor died, mistakes were made. This is evident from an internal investigation on which the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament was informed this week.

According to the investigation, procedures were not properly complied with at that time and not all the rules were followed for the equipment during the preparation of the exercise. Meanwhile, a criminal investigation into the accident is also underway.

In November 2015, a 23-year-old sailor from the Defense Dive Group was killed during an exercise in the Caracas Bay here in Curaçao. The staff of the Dive Group has been informed of the results of the investigation in the past few days. As a result, all diving operations at the navy are shut down for one week starting today.

“This week a diving break was announced within the diving community for a week of reflection and to actively reflect on safety awareness,” a ministry spokesman told ANP news agency.

Three teams

The Defense Dive Group has three specialist teams. One deals with repairs to ships and inspects port installations. A second-team specializes in deep diving and the third team helps with amphibious operations, for example, to clear mines. The then boss of the navy, Rob Verkerk, spoke immediately after the accident of a 'heavy blow' for the navy.

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