is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence can
confirm that Lieutenant Philip West, Royal Navy, was
killed when two Mk 7 Sea King Airborne Surveillance
and Control (ASAC) helicopters collided over international
waters in the Gulf. The helicopters were from 849 Squadron
A Flight, which is based at the Royal Naval Air Station
Culdrose, in Cornwall. The crash was not the result
of enemy action and tragically there were no survivors.
aged 32, lived in Budock Water with his fiancée
Nicky who works as a nurse at Treliske hospital. The
couple were due to be married in August this year and
had been converting a barn together.
a boy, Phil lived in Carlisle, moving when he was 10
to Hoy Lake on the Wirral. He went to Salford University
when he was 18 and joined the University Royal Naval
Unit where he developed his interest in the RN. Having
obtained his degree he joined Britannia Royal Naval
College, Dartmouth in 1992 and commenced officer training.
His parents recall how he had always wanted to fly and
his decision to join the service made them extremely
proud. Following Sea King Observer training he gained
his wings in 1994. Phil served in HMS Invincible
during the Adriatic deployment of 1996 and was awarded
the campaign medal for his service.
and Phil met in Falmouth in 1998 when he was serving
at RNAS Culdrose. Since settling in the region Phil,
much to the amusement of his family, had become quite
a countryman. He loved his dog Georgie and Nicky's four
horses. Nicky's parents Steve and Sandra, who live in
Budock Water, adopted him into their family and Steve
introduced him to the game of golf of which he became
families were looking forward to celebrating the couple's
marriage in August and his tragic loss is so hard to
bear. However, they have all been overwhelmed by the
tremendous support that they have received from friends
and family which is proving a great comfort.
was known throughout 849 as "Stretch" on account
of his height (6'4"). He was admired by his colleagues
for his professionalism and always put those he was
with at their ease. Nicky described him as, "patient,
thoughtful and considerate." All those who were
close to him miss him greatly.
of Defence is not responsible for the content or availability
of external websites.