The parents of a Sunderland submariner who died in an explosion below the polar ice cap have spoken of their gratitude after a lasting memorial to their son was unveiled.
Twenty-year-old Anthony Huntrod, of Town End Farm, was killed alongside crewmate Paul McCann, 32, when a self-contained oxygen generator (Scog), exploded on board nuclear sub HMS Tireless on exercise in 2007.
Now a memorial bench, commissioned by the members of Sunderland Submariners’ Association and built at Frankland Prison, has been installed at Sunderland Yacht Club, looking out to sea.
Dozens of people, including Mayor of Sunderland Coun Lynda Scanlan, serving sailors and some of Anthony’s former shipmates, attended a remembrance and dedication service.
Trinity House chaplain Rev Geoff Driver led the congregation in reciting the Submariner’s Prayer and singing the Naval hymn For Those in Peril on the Sea.
Anthony’s dad Alan Huntrod and mum Brenda Gooch said it had been a day of mixed emotions: “Today has been a day to remember our son Anthony.
“It has also been a day to share with people who knew Anthony and to show a small picture of who Anthony was to those who had never met him,” they said.
“As parents, we feel very proud and privileged to have had Anthony as a son and also as a brother to his sister Julie.
“Acknowledging the memories and impressions he left with friends and colleagues throughout his short life brings us great comfort.
“Our thanks and appreciation go out to the Sunderland branch of the Submariners Association who commissioned the bench.
“Also to everyone who has helped in bringing this dedication day together, in order to have a permanent remembrance of Anthony.
“Our gratitude can’t be said enough from all the family.”
• After a six-week inquest, Sunderland coroner Derek Winter ruled that cost-cutting measures formed part of a catalogue of errors which contributed to the death of Anthony Huntrod and Paul McCann, but the Health and Safety Executive said it was unable to prosecute any individual or organisations.
The HSE said Scog firing only took place off shore, which meant the accident had been outside its remit, despite the MoD admitting contamination of the devices had happened on shore – which caused misfires at sea.