SUFFOLK: Tragic airman was set for special forces

SUFFOLK: Family and colleagues of an airman who died from injuries sustained in a boating accident while returning home with his squadron have spoken of their shock and sadness.

The Ministry of Defence has named the victim of the accident as Senior Aircraftman (SAC) Scott ‘Scotty’ Hughes, who was serving with Number 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment when he died in Cyprus on Sunday.

SAC Hughes was returning to RAF Honington from operations in Afghanistan and died from injuries suffered in a boating accident that took place last Friday as his unit was undertaking decompression activities. He was due to return home to the UK the following day.

While swimming in the sea he was struck by a power boat operated by the Military Training Wing, British Forces Cyprus. An investigation into the accident is taking place.

SAC Hughes, was born on June 5, 1990 and grew up in North Wales. He joined the Royal Air Force in January 2009 as a Gunner in the Royal Air Force Regiment.

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He graduated from basic training in June of that year and was posted to Number 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment.

On completion of his tour in Afghanistan, SAC Hughes planned to remain on 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, putting his name forward for selection as a Squadron sniper. He also intended to complete the Pre-Parachute Selection Course with a view to eventually serving with the UK Special Forces Support Group.

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SAC Hughes’s family said: “Our beautiful, brave, fun-loving son has been cruelly taken away from us, but we know that Scott fulfilled his dreams by serving his regiment and his country.

“Words cannot express the loss we as a family are feeling at this time and a huge void will be in our lives without Scott forever more.”

Wing Commander Paul Weaver Smith, Officer Commanding 4 Royal Air Force Force Protection Wing, said: “Scott Hughes was a highly respected and utterly professional young man with a very promising career ahead of him in the Royal Air Force Regiment. His tragic death has hit the Wing hard; our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time.

Squadron Leader David Crook, Officer Commanding 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, added:

“Scott was an extremely professional and brave young man, who spent his last six months risking his life to protect and save others. His death is a tragedy, and words cannot express our sense of loss and shock. Scott was fiercely proud of his regiment and we are fiercely proud of him. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.”

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