With investigations continuing into the deaths of two SAS reservists-in-training at the Brecon Beacons site in Powys, a third has now died in hospital following extreme heat exposure.
Cpl James Dunsby, 31, had been taking part in a four-week trial for the Territorial Army’s SAS reservists, which concluded with a hike over the Brecon beacons in Powys on the 13th July. Temperatures that day soared to 29.5C (85F), with witnesses on the day describing seeing soldiers who were “clearly in distress” and in desperate need of drinking water.
Edward Maher, 31, and Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, 24, died after collapsing in the heat during a 40 mile hike. The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced a full inquiry into what happened, however, the inquest has so far heard that the cause of Mr Roberts’ and Mr Maher’s deaths still remains “unascertained”. The coroner, Louise Hunt, has warned that the MoD could face investigation under Article 2 of the Human Rights Act; the state has a duty to protect an individual’s life.
In a statement made yesterday, the MoD said “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that a third Army reserve soldier injured during a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons has died of his injuries.”
His family have asked for privacy in this difficult time, but in a statement released today via the MoD they said he had:
“the most infectious enthusiasm for life […] He was the most loving and dependable husband, not to mention the most handsome of men of whom could not be more cherished.”
Cpl Dunsby had been on life support since the incident, and is understood to have died yesterday at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
The death of the Cpl Dunsby is yet another tragic case that is changing perceptions about the competency of the MoD, particularly in the wake of recent events that saw the Supreme Court grant the families of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan the rights to sue the MoD over their deaths if there are reasonable grounds to do so. Moreover, a recent BBC documentary highlighted the increased number of PTSD claims faced by the army and the MoD on a growing basis.
If you believe you may be entitled to make a claim, contact us here at Blackwater Law today. Our expert, no win no fee solicitors, lead by our military expert Jason Brady, are on hand to help you fight for the compensation and justice you deserve. For more information, please contact us today on 0800 083 5500 and we will be happy to help you.
*this article was edited on 31/07/2013 to reflect the release of the soldier’s name by the MoD