Soldier dies from injuries sustained at 443 Helicopter Squadron in North Saanich

Master Seaman (MS) Guillermo Morales Castellon died Friday, Nov. 25, four days after industrial incident.

Master Seaman (MS) Guillermo Morales Castellon.

The soldier who was injured in an industrial accident at the 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron base in North Saanich has died.

Master Seaman (MS) Guillermo Morales Castellon was seriously injured in the incident on Monday, Nov. 21 at the base, located at the west side of the Victoria International Airport. He was not working on aircraft at the time of the incident and no other people were involved.

“My deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Master Seaman Guillermo Morales Castellon during this extremely difficult time,” stated CFB Esquimalt Base Commander Captain (Navy) Steven Waddell. “We are all saddened by the loss. Personnel from CFB Esquimalt and the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to provide support to his family while they deal with this tragedy.”

In a statement issued by the Department of National Defence Nov. 27, Castellon’s spouse, who has elected not to be named, said Castellon’s family is experiencing a tremendous loss.

“Guillermo was fully committed to his work,” they said. “Meticulous and highly professional, he was extremely rule-oriented, he cared deeply about justice and he had much respect for hierarchy (chain of command). He made sure his work and the work of his subordinates was performed efficiently.”

Castellon joined the Army Reserve, 2nd Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, in 1995 and transferred to the Naval Reserve, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Donnacona, in 1998. In 2014,he accepted a transfer to the Regular Force where he was posted to CFB Esquimalt Base Logistics. Castellon served as part of the Patricia Bay Supply Team supporting 443 Squadron.

Military officials are working to support the family and deployed a crisis team to the base at the Victoria International Airport in North Saanich to assist other members of 443 Squadron immediately following the incident. Murillo said last week that they have ongoing support for their members, should the need arise.

Details of the incident are not being released. Murillo said CFB Esquimalt’s Formation, Safety and Environment Office has been called in, following Waddell’s order for an immediate investigation.

According to a DND statement Nov. 27, the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) “will conduct an investigation into the accident with support from Formation Safety. Further, a Board of Inquiry will be convened into the circumstances surrounding Master Seaman Morales Castellon’s death.”

The Board of Inquiry is an internal, non-judicial, administrative fact-finding investigation, designed to prevent similar incidents.

443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron is based at the Victoria International Airport. They service and fly Sea King helicopters in support of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Pacific fleet.