Tributes have been paid to a Royal Marine recruit who died after he was submerged in freezing water for ‘roughly five minutes’ while training on a beach.
Ethan Jones, 20, was part of a team of Royal Marines who were practising a beach assault at Tregantle Beach in Cornwall when he got into trouble in the sea.
He was taken to Derriford Hospital by air ambulance on the evening of January 21 in a critical condition but was later pronounced dead.
A picture of Ethan, of Westfield, Radstock, Somerset was released by the Ministry of Defence today as tributes were paid by military bosses and his family, who said he died ‘fulfilling a dream.’
An inquest into his was opened and adjourned today in Plymouth and heard he was exiting a landing craft when he was ‘submerged in sea water, for roughly five minutes.’
Ethan Jones, 20, was part of a team of Royal Marines who were practicing a beach assault at Tregantle Beach in Cornwall when he got into trouble in the sea
Ethan was taking part in an exercise on Tregantle beach (pictured) when he got into difficulties. He died later in hospital
During training he had been selected as a recruit section commander and was awarded the Commando Medal, which is voted for by recruits for the individual who best personifies the Commando Spirit.
Ethan’s family added in the statement: ‘Ethan died fulfilling his dream and doing something he loved.
‘Joining the Royal Marine was something Ethan had wanted to do for as long as we can remember.
‘He wanted to join the best of the best and challenge himself. Ethan loved the outdoor lifestyle and was looking forward to serving as a Marine on operations around the world.
Royal Marines are pictured training on Cornwall’s Tregantle beach, where Ethan Jones got into difficulties and was found face-down in water
‘We are very proud of all that he achieved.’
In an opening statement read put by the coroner’s officer today, it said: ‘Ethan was out on an amphibious training exercise, he exited a landing craft and was submerged in sea water, for roughly five minutes.
‘Despite intervention, CT scan showed hypoxic brain injury and EEG showed minimal brain activity. Ethan sadly passed away on January 24, 2020.’
The statement notes how on the present evidence the medical cause of death has been ascertained as hypoxic encephalopathy and drowning.
Royal Marine recruit Ethan Jones died after being found face down in freezing water during a beach assault exercise (file image)
A full inquest will be held later this year.
A Royal Navy spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm the Royal Marine who was injured in an incident two weeks ago and later died was Royal Marine Recruit Ethan Jones.
‘The thoughts and sympathies of the Naval Service are with the family and friends of Recruit Jones.
‘The incident is still under investigation, therefore it would be inappropriate to comment further.’
Ethan was also described by the MOD in a statement as ‘a popular character’.
He joined the Royal Marines on May 27 to start 32 weeks of military training.
In a statement the MOD said: ‘Composed, astute and with an unfailing sense of humour, Ethan was a popular character – an embodiment of the Corps Values of excellence, integrity, self-discipline and humility; not only a formidable soldier, but an exemplary citizen too.’
Section Commander within 282 Troop Corporal Dave Wright said Ethan held a ‘special position’ in the troop.
He recalled one exercise in which Ethan put his equipment down at the top of a hill and went back down to help another recruit.
Corp Wright said: ‘He is a true loss to the Royal Marines as he would have inevitably achieved much within his career.
‘Recruit Jones was the embodiment of what a Commando should be.’
Fellow recruit Daniel Landrey said: ‘He was our best mate and we know he would not want this much fuss made of him.
‘Lucky for him it does not take more than a few words to describe Jonesy. When he didn’t have a pasty in his hand, he was getting the job done. No complaining, no fuss, just always sending it.’