NZ navy sailor's body arrives home
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 7:29p.m.
The New Zealand navy sailor who died in a scooter accident in the Cook Islands has been farewelled by his crewmates on HMNZS Otago before being flown back to New Zealand.
Able Seaman Combat Specialist William Delamere died on Saturday on Rarotonga and was farewelled in a ramp ceremony there today.
Members of the Otago's crew then accompanied his coffin on a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 flight to Whenuapai where he was met by the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Tony Parr, other navy personnel, family and friends.
"The real tragedy of this sad event is that William was a fantastic young man with a very bright future," the captain of HMNZS Otago, Commander David McEwan, said in a statement.
Cook Islands police earlier said Able Seaman Delamere was more than two times over the legal alcohol limit when his scooter crashed into a traffic island, throwing him off.
His family issued a statement saying it had been an extremely difficult time for them, but they were relieved he was back in New Zealand.
"William was a cheeky, intelligent young man who lived for his life in the navy and his family. His partner, who is also in the navy, had a very strong relationship with William and is devastated by her loss," the statement read.
"We are all extremely proud of what William has achieved during his four years in the Navy, and our focus now is to make sure that he gets the farewell that he deserves."
He is being taken to Whitianga Marae where there will be a private tangi.
The Otago will sail from Rarotonga and continue with patrol operations around the South Pacific, returning to Devonport Naval Base in August.
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