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TA soldiers die on training exercise in Powys on hottest day of year

By Emcfarnon  |  Posted: July 15, 2013

BreconBeacons

The Brecon Beacons is one of several locations British military use as part of their training

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Police are continuing to investigate after two soldiers died on a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons on the hottest day of the year.

The soldiers were serving with the Territorial Army in Powys, mid Wales, on Saturday when temperatures exceeded 29.5C.

The deaths occurred on the hottest day of the year so far in Wales.

A third soldier is in a serious condition after the incident, which is thought to have been linked to the hot weather.

Reports suggest the soldiers, understood to be in their late teens or early 20s, were taking part in the selection process for the TA section of the SAS. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) refused to comment.

A military source told the Guardian the exercise the men were taking part in was "intense" and their deaths did not involve firearms or a fall.

"The MoD can confirm that it is working with Dyfed Powys Police to investigate an incident during a training exercise on the Brecon Beacons on Saturday in which two members of military personnel died," a spokesperson said.

"The two servicemen's next of kin have been informed."

The Brecon Beacons is one of several locations British military use as part of their training. It is used because of its relative remoteness.

Members of all four of South Wales' mountain rescue teams said they had been called out to assist when the two servicemen died.

Some 30 members of Central Beacons, Brecon, Western Beacons and Abergavenny-based Longtown Mountain Rescue Teams joined the operation near Pen y Fan, which is the highest mountain in south Wales.

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, told the BBC it was a "meltingly hot" day in the area on Saturday.

"It's very very said to think that people that were serving with our armed forces have lost their lives in this way," she added.

Ms Williams said it was a beautiful area which could also be very "treacherous", and the military trained there "for a reason".

Ken Jones, a former member of the special forces who now organises an endurance race in the Brecon Beacons, told the Guardian: "They are out there carrying a third or half of their body weight. When it's hot it's impossible to get rehydrated.

"They have no time for recovery."

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8 comments

  • ZooLander  |  July 17 2013, 12:40PM

    by slim2010 Tuesday, July 16 2013, 7:25PM "Zoolander I know that these men knew more about fitness fatigue and keeping healthy because I am ex military." 1) How do you know I am not apart of the military... 2) How do you know I am not a personal trainer or fitness coach... or have been... 3) Just because you're in the army doesn't mean you know all about health and fitness... 4) Army have their own trainers... 5) Need I go on...

    |   -3
  • slim2010  |  July 16 2013, 7:25PM

    Zoolander I know that these men knew more about fitness fatigue and keeping healthy because I am ex military. Ordinary members of the services do not attempt to join either the SAS or SBS, those that do are special and extremely dedicated. Sadly during the rigorous selection process there are on occasion deaths, unfortunately two more lives have been lost. However it must be remembered that these dedicated men protect the UK from many who would do harm. Please read the comments of one of the soldiers families in todays "Daily Mail" they are extremely proud of this man, as should we all be. Unfortunately due to the rigorous routine there will be more deaths, we should celebrate these mens lives for what they were trying to acjieve.

    |   2
  • ZooLander  |  July 16 2013, 2:24PM

    by slim2010 Monday, July 15 2013, 7:26PM "Zoolander & Siarad These two men knew more about looking after their bodies and fitness than you will ever know..." 1) How do you know that... 2) No-one said they did or didn't know about fitness or health... 3) This is about two people who died and we don't want anymore to died from this sort of event... Now let the two people RIP now...

    |   -5
  • happygirlie72  |  July 15 2013, 9:25PM

    So sad should never have been out in the heat Saturday. My thoughts and prayers are with there families. Rip.

    |   -12
  • slim2010  |  July 15 2013, 7:26PM

    Zoolander & Siarad These two men knew more about looking after their bodies and fitness than you will ever know, it was their job, unfortunately they pushed themselves beyond the limit in an attempt to become a member of an elite force. This is exteemely sad, however these are the type of men the country needs in desperate situations, brave,fit and dedicated. It is because of men like these that the SAS is the finest regiment in the world.

    |   4
  • slim2010  |  July 15 2013, 7:07PM

    Very sad, however these men were not just out exercising, they were attempting to become members of the finest regiment in the world, the SAS. Whether regular soldier or terratorial soldier anyone wishing to join this most elite of all services have to reach the same standard. The SAS must be capable of performing anywhere in the world in all climatic conditions. They died trying to achieve the ultimate goal, Stand Easy soldiers.

    |   4
  • siarad2  |  July 15 2013, 11:28AM

    Indeed sad news & my commiserations to friends & family, imagine what the guys in Afghanistan are going through Agree fluids a must. Unfortunately humans don't have a 'thirst' warning so have to force-feed fluids you'd never naturally drink. I recall desert patrols drank 15 pints a day. In the mess in hot climates we had to pour the person opposite at least 2 pints, easily sweated out in just an hour!

    |   3
  • ZooLander  |  July 15 2013, 9:35AM

    Sad news...if anyone is out exercising it is best not to do it during the hot periods of the day around 12 - 4 pm... If you have to then make sure you have had plenty of fluids beforehand and during the exercise time...

    |   1

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