HE WAS awarded an MBE by the Queen for his bravery. But now fresh details have emerged about the heroic work of a Royal Navy bomb disposal expert from Portsmouth.
Petty Officer (Diver) Darren Carvell has been involved in about 700 call-outs during his career with the Senior Service.
And today the navy has revealed some of the exploits of the 41-year-old ‘frogman’, who has put his life on the line countless times to protect others.
During his time as a clearance diver, the dad-of-two has safely disposed of more than 150 explosives - including two deadly Second World War bombs found close to a nuclear power station.
Lieutenant Commander Sean Heaton, the commanding officer of the Southern Diving Group said: ‘PO(D) Carvell has continually performed above and beyond his far-reaching responsibilities. He has constantly put the needs of the Royal Navy ahead of his own, working long hours in difficult conditions and sustaining the morale of his busy team.
‘His unrivalled commitment, exceptional leadership and relentless motivation has inspired all who work with him. His outstanding dedication has resulted in a huge number of high profile successes for the Royal Navy.’
On July 12, 2016, PO Carvell led a six-man team to locate and free a Portuguese submarine that had become entangled in a trawler's net 35 nautical miles offshore.
The submarine was rolling dangerously in heavy seas, and during the six-hour operation his exceptional drive and leadership ensured the vessel was finally cut free and escorted back to the safety of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Devonport.
Between September 23 and October 2 in 2017, the experienced diver led a four-man team on six call-outs – which included the safe disposals of two large wartime bombs found less than 900 yards from Hinkley Point Power Station.
While in the same week, PO Carvell once against demonstrated his outstanding qualities during a dangerous diving operation.
He was called to lead an operation to rescue the crewmen of the fishing vessel of FV Solstice, which had capsized in heavy seas off the coast of Plymouth.
When his team arrived, they were presented with an upturned, unfamiliar vessel of unknown condition that was being battered by the rough seas and only minutes away from sinking.
PO(D) Carvell’s rapid planning, leadership and mental courage enabled the deployment of a two-man dive team to conduct a search and rescue operation inside the hull of the capsized vessel. Sadly, the crewman was not recovered alive, but his body was recovered just moments before the vessel sank, enabling closure for his family and the Plymouth seafaring community following this tragic loss of life.
PO Carvell is part of Fleet Diving Unit 1 on Horsea Island, supporting overseas bomb disposal. Previous to that, he was based at Southern Diving Unit 1 in Plymouth.