RIP Able Seaman Byron Solomon – Lest We Forget

Able Seaman Byron Solomon, 22, drowned when he was trapped underwater after gear failed during a seaboat launch from the Canterbury off Cape Reinga in October 2007.

Incompetence caused sailor’s death, father tells inquest

Navy death legal action considered

“The parents of a navy sailor killed when an inflatable boat flipped and trapped him underwater say his death was foreseeable and the result of incompetence”

Bill Solomon and Jayne Carkeek told an inquest into the death of their son, Able Seaman Byron Solomon, 22, following an incident aboard the navy ship HMNZS Canterbury, that safety risks which contributed to his death had happened before.


I was there that day. Fortunate not to of had half a dozen fatalities that day

Able Seaman (hydrographics systems operator) Solomon and another man, Leading Hand Dwayne Pakinga, were partially trapped under the boat.

Pakinga was rescued by shipmates within 10 minutes and was yesterday in Devonport’s naval hospital with wrenched muscles and injuries to his face. Two other men in the inflatable, Able Seaman (combat specialist) Bernard Cook, and Ordinary Seaman (combat specialist) Adrian Shelford, were rescued with only minor injuries. Shelford is believed to be a relative of former All Blacks captain Buck Shelford.

FOUR Navy sailors (and an army Corporal) who leaped off HMNZS Canterbury into the sea to try to save a drowning shipmate, are likely to have their heroism formally recognised, says the navy’s top brass.

SEC Statement Service

Honourable Discharge

New Zealand Bravery Medal recipient Mark Taylor, 2011

Chief Petty Officer Mark Taylor – A softly spoken man who is as hard as nails – pictured with family

They also said the navy, and then-Defence Minister Phil Goff, should take responsibility for not inspecting the Canterbury thoroughly enough for safety before it was launched.

Chicken-hawk in Chief – If I ever run in to you on the street you and me are gonna have words – and it will be my fists doing the talking boi!!! That ain’t a threat, that’s a promise!!!


Read the report above for my opinion

Bill Solomon spoke of his pride in Byron James Solomon, 22, of Alfriston, who was killed when an inflatable boat capsized in calm seas after being lowered from HMNZS Canterbury.

“He loved the Navy and he loved the sea. He was a good boy, a great boy and I can’t believe what’s happened.”

Bill Solomon managed to hold back his tears when he arrived at the marae, but broke down when he saw his young son’s coffin in the back of the hearse. More than 60 people followed the coffin into the marae, holding hands and weeping.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them. 

My condolences to your Family Brotha

I am a man of limited means but if your Family ever need anything y’all get in touch

My offer stands till the day I draw my last breath


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