Airman killed in Cyprus boating incident repatriated

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Senior Aircraftman Hughes
Image caption,
Senior Aircraftman Scott Hughes was described as "an extremely professional and brave young man"

The body of an airman who died in a boating accident in Cyprus has been repatriated to the UK.

Senior Aircraftman Scott Hughes, 20, from Y Felinheli, Gwynedd, was swimming in the sea after six months in Afghanistan when the incident happened.

He died after being hit by a power boat operated by the Military Training Wing at the Cyprus Sovereign Base Area.

An investigation was launched after the incident earlier this month.

A funeral with full military honours will be held on Friday in his home town.

The body of the gunner from 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment was flown into RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, where a private ceremony with his close family took place before his coffin was driven through nearby Wootton Bassett.

The cortege passed through Wootton Bassett, where it has become tradition for hundreds of people to gather in silence as each fallen serviceman is repatriated.

His parents Emma and Michael and younger brother Adam placed white roses on top of the hearse as it paused for a two-minute silence.

Around 20 of his school friends had travelled from North Wales to say goodbye to their friend.

'Huge void'

SAC Hughes, who joined the RAF in January 2009, was named top student on a Squadron Mortar Cadre in November 2009.

In Afghanistan, he was employed as top cover (machine gunner) on the lead patrol vehicle as well as a signaller on the medical emergency response team helicopter where he helped in the evacuation of casualties.

In a statement, SAC Hughes' 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."

Describing the death as a "tragedy", Squadron Leader David Crook, Officer Commanding 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, said: "Scott was an extremely professional and brave young man, who spent his last six months risking his life to protect and save others.

"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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