At 4.20am on Wednesday 21st March, 2007 whilst on exercise in the Arctic as members of the crew of HMS Tireless, a Trafalgar class submarine , Paul McCann and Anthony Huntrod died as a consequence of a tragic accident on board.
Paul McCann was a Leading Operator Mechanic and Anthony Huntrod was an Operator Maintainer (Weapons Submariner) 2 serving with HMS Tireless in the Royal Navy.
One other submariner was also injured. He was airlifted to a US military hospital, where he remains. His injuries are not life-threatening and he is expected to make a full recovery.
It is thought that the accident involved a piece of air-purification equipment in the forward section of the submarine.
LOM Paul McCann from Halesowen, West Midlands, aged 32, was born on Christmas Day 1974 and joined the Royal Navy in November 2001. He joined HMS Tireless in June 2004 and deployed with the boat to the North Polar Ice Cap on 2 March 2007.
Paul McCann was a talented, charismatic and cheerful man whose leadership skills and ability to inspire all around him quickly won his promotion to LOM. He thrived on looking after the junior members of the ship's company and would always be available for advice.
He attended the Earls High School in Halesowen, West Midlands. A keen sportsman who supported Birmingham City FC, he represented both his home team and the Royal Navy at cricket and played rugby for Plymouth Command and Old Halesowians.
The Commander Officer of HMS Tireless Commander Iain Breckenridge RN said:
"He was simply the kind of man a Commanding Officer could call on at any time and in any circumstances – his exuberance, good humour and huge personality are greatly missed by all of his shipmates.
"Our thoughts are very much with his family and friends to whom every man onboard Tireless passes his deepest sympathy."
Fellow shipmates added that Paul was considered a role model by his subordinates who greatly appreciated his selfless participation and encouragement of their training and professional advancement.
He was described by his mum Pauline, dad Brian and sister Sharon as "a caring and gentle man who loved his family and was a great uncle to Indea and Lotte". His mum said that she "couldn't have wished for a better son."
Paul had recently got engaged to his fiancée Julie who lives in Philadelphia, United States, and he had submitted his notice to leave the Navy to marry and move to the United States. He loved the Royal Navy and only planned to leave because he wanted to live with his fiancée in the US.
The family wish to thank all members of their family and friends and Paul's many friends for their love and support.