Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Woman officer dies on Navy ship

An investigation has been launched after a woman officer was found dead on board HMS Edinburgh

The Royal Navy is investigating the death of a woman officer while at sea on one of its ships.

Lieutenant Sara Hellawell was found dead on board HMS Edinburgh last Thursday when the destroyer, known as the Fortress of the Sea, was alongside Angola, West Africa.

It is not yet known how Lt Hellawell, a deputy marine engineer officer, died but the Royal Navy has launched an investigation.

A spokesman said: "It is with sadness and regret that we can confirm that Lt Sara Hellawell, deputy marine engineer officer of the destroyer HMS Edinburgh, has died on board her ship.

"Her next of kin have been informed and there will be an investigation.

"The thoughts and sympathies of the Royal Navy are with Sara's family."

The officer's body is being repatriated from Cape Town, South Africa, the Navy confirmed.

HMS Edinburgh left Portsmouth in May, bound for the South Atlantic, and is not due to return until the end of the year.

The destroyer was due to visit the Cape Verde Islands and West Africa in support of maritime security and counter-drugs/piracy operations, then spend the bulk of its deployment in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

The tour of duty is HMS Edinburgh's first since a trip to the Middle and Far East in 2008.