'Courageous' Navy sailor dies after incident during diver training

A Navy sailor has died after getting into trouble during a diver training exercise at the Devonport Naval Base.

Able Communications Technician Zachary Christopher Yarwood died in North Shore Hospital. He had been taken there in a critical condition on Tuesday.

According to a statement provided by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), Yarwood joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2013 and served on HMNZS Te Kaha and Philomel.

The advanced diving training exercise he was participating in when he got into trouble was taking place in roughly six to eight metres of water.

At the time of the incident he was looking to join the HMNZS Matataua as a qualified diver.

"My condolences are with Zachary's fiancée, his parents and his two beloved brothers as they, along with us, come to terms with his passing," said Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor.

"Today the Navy is mourning a young sailor who had already packed so much into his career and embodied our core values of courage, commitment and comradeship in everything he did."

Yarwood's family is being supported while police, WorkSafe NZ and the Coroner investigate. The NZDF will also conduct a Court of Inquiry.