Keeping Watch supports Navy family after horror holiday accident

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Naomi Deignan (author)

Topic(s): Keeping Watch, RAN Relief Trust Fund

Able Seaman Cooper Blackwood and his partner, Able Seaman Sarah Horn, in Brisbane after Cooper's holiday accident in Bali. (photo: )
Able Seaman Cooper Blackwood and his partner, Able Seaman Sarah Horn, in Brisbane after Cooper's holiday accident in Bali.

While enjoying a break from their ship by the pool of a resort, a well-earned holiday in Bali turned tragic for a young Navy couple.

A horror accident, when water-lover Able Seaman Boatswains Mate Cooper Blackwood dived into the resort pool to cool down, brought devastation.

Consequently, emergency medical treatment was required to save his life.

The couple had taken travel insurance but never expected a situation with such gravity.

Sadly - following significant up-front costs - financial hardship and additional stress on top of trauma were endured from the onset.

The stress was magnified by the news that reimbursement for the ambulance costs, as well as a mandatory deposit paid to the Indonesian hospital prior to the commencement of surgery and additional accommodation costs, was going to be a very slow process.

Through divisional staff back in Australia, the Navy’s charity Keeping Watch was approached to provide much needed interim support.

It was deemed that this difficult situation absolutely met the spirit and intent of the Keeping Watch financial grant.

“I was instantly relieved to learn that Keeping Watch could help no matter where you may be,” Able Seaman Sarah Horn, Cooper’s partner, said.

“Keeping Watch is the vehicle for those situations that fall outside current Defence welfare support policy,” Commander Christina Ween, a Trustee of the RAN Relief Trust Fund, said.

Keeping Watch is able to work quickly behind the scenes during a time of crisis or unforeseen event, to provide for Navy members and their families in times of emergency, disaster or loss.

“We are happy to share our story about how helpful Keeping Watch was at the time of need and how quickly we received the grant,” Able Seaman Horn said.

“Keeping Watch provided us with immense support and the feeling of belonging to a team - which the Navy is all about."

“I am especially keen to bring awareness that Keeping Watch is a donation-only charity, and the actions of Keeping Watch reinforces the saying that “no-one is left behind”,” she said.

A Keeping Watch grant may be accessed by current serving members, including SERCAT Reserves.

Please consider making Keeping Watch your Ship’s charity. The tax-deductible donated funds are always used to ease a burden in the lives of our Navy family.

Able Seaman Blackwood is recovering in the Princess Alexandra Hospital spinal rehabilitation unit in Brisbane.