EOD Seabrook, Andrew

Rogue Warrior: the Real Team
By Richard Marcinko
Darby's Rangers 1942-45
By Mir Bahmanyer

John Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Seabrook
  • FORENAME
Andrew
  • UNIT
Fleet Diving Unit, Royal Navy
  • RANK
A/Petty Officer (Diver)
  • NUMBER
D194020L
  • AWARD
Distinguished Service Medal
  • PLACE
Persian Gulf 1991 (Op.Granby)
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
London Gazette 52588, 28th June 1991, Page 5
 

CITATION:

Distinguished Service Medal : During Operation Desert Slash, Seabrook was a member of Fleet Diving Unit A (FDU A) embarked in RFA Sir Galahad in the Northern Arabian Gulf. He formed part of a helicopter-borne Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team tasked with the destruction of live enemy buoyant and floating mines.

On no less than five occasions Seabrook deployed from a helicopter to swim to buoyant tethered mines in order to place a countermining charge. On each one he approached the delicate task with a cool nerve and immense personal courage, in the sure knowledge that knocking against one of the contact horns would detonate the mine, killing him instantly and injuring his standby team not far away. He maintained a resolute composure and an iron will throughout each operation, completing them with clear-headed professionalism and scant regard for his own safety. His gallant actions were in the finest traditions of the Royal Navy. In addition, he undertook without quailing the very necessary but unpleasant task of recovering the bodies of two dead Iraqis, strapping the corpses in front of him for hoisting into a helicopter.

Moving ashore to Kuwait on 5 March 1991, FDU A commenced port recovery and EOD operations. Seabrook was employed in clearing explosives from buildings and oil tankers, rendering safe unstable live ordnance, beached mines, booby traps and Improvised Explosive devices, and again recovering dead bodies. Frequently he had to cross areas of anti-personnel mines and barbed wire to reach the objectives before work could start. His boldness and vigour permeated through FDU A to produce a closely knit team whose sense of purpose remained focused throughout the operation.

The conditions under which the Unit worked were atrocious. With no infrastructure ashore the men subsisted in cargo containers on a jetty with no light, sanitation or potable water, in an atmosphere heavy with acrid smoke and toxic fumes from the oilfield fires burning inland, and diving in water with zero visibility due to thick oil pollution. All the time there was a risk of random gunfire from uncontrolled factions of the local population. Seabrook's infectious enthusiasm touched every member of FDU A and his outstanding qualities of leadership in the face of appalling adversity contributed much to the spirit of the Unit

WEB LINKS:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/52588/supplement/5
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