Defence Force appears in court over diving death of sailor Zachary Yarwood


Zachary Christopher Yarwood (23) died in Auckland's North Shore Hospital on March 26, 2019 following an incident during a dive training exercise the night before at the Devonport Naval Base.

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Zachary Christopher Yarwood (23) died in Auckland’s North Shore Hospital on March 26, 2019 following an incident during a dive training exercise the night before at the Devonport Naval Base.

The New Zealand Defence Force has appeared in court over the death of a sailor during a dive exercise in 2019.

Zachary Christopher Yarwood, 23, died in Auckland’s North Shore Hospital after the night-time incident on March 25, 2019.

The able communications technician and other sailors were diving in about six to eight metres of water at about 10pm during advanced dive training.

WorkSafe filed one representative charge against NZDF under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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* New Zealand Defence Force charged over sailor death

The New Zealand Defence Force appeared in Auckland District Court on Wednesday morning.

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The New Zealand Defence Force appeared in Auckland District Court on Wednesday morning.

The charge alleges failures exposed five other sailors to risk of death or serious injury during the same exercise.

The particulars of the charge say that it was reasonably practicable for the NZDF to “ensure that divers were effectively supervised during training diving operations including by ensuring the correct number of supervisory staff were present”.

On Wednesday, the Defence Force did not enter a plea and the case was adjourned until July 21.

A police inquiry into Yarwood’s death continues.