My Headlines

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The loss of a colleague

No longer a close friend of mine, but someone I went through all the stages of my interviews, recruitment, basic training and some of my application course with him. Sometimes he was pure mischief, trouble or a headache - but he was always good for a laugh. The world shall miss out on many a joke with the loss of him.


Royal Australian Navy Officer, Sub-Lieutenant (SBLT) James Bennett, has been tragically killed in an accident at Devil’s Pool, Babinda Boulders, 70 kilometres south of Cairns.

SBLT Bennett went missing on 30 November 2008 when he fell victim to strong currents while swimming at the popular tourist destination. He could not be reached by the other members of his party.

An extensive search involving the Queensland Police, the North Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and an Emergency Services specialist dive team located a body on 2 December, which was today confirmed as SBLT Bennett.

“Our deepest condolences are extended to James’ family and friends during this very sad time,” Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Crane, AM, CSM, RAN said.

“This is a tragic accident that has touched many of our Navy family. James was a promising young junior officer full of potential. He will be sorely missed.”

SBLT Bennett was serving in the Mine Hunter Coastal HMAS Norman, which was visiting Cairns before returning home to Sydney, NSW.

Norman was returning from a very successful South East Asia deployment, during which he participated in Exercise Bersama Lima in the South China Sea and the Minor War Vessels Fleet Concentration Period in the North Australian Exercise Area.

Media release taken from the DOD website