Naval brothers reunited in Auckland

Published on LEUT Andrew Ragless (author), LSIS James Whittle (photographer)

Location(s): Auckland, New Zealand

Topic(s): HMAS Darwin (F04)

Ensign Rowan Bagot and his brother Able Seaman Electronics Warfare Braden Bagot reunite on the wharf of Devonport Naval Base in from of HMAS Darwin. (photo: LSIS James Whittle)
Ensign Rowan Bagot and his brother Able Seaman Electronics Warfare Braden Bagot reunite on the wharf of Devonport Naval Base in from of HMAS Darwin.

As HMAS Darwin berthed at Devonport Naval Base in Auckland recently, it was also a special reunion for two Kiwi brothers.

A member of ship’s company on exchange from the Royal New Zealand Navy, 24-year old Ensign Rowan Bagot was overjoyed when he saw his younger brother Braden forming up as a member of the Kiwi berthing party.

He said the two brothers hadn’t seen each other for seven months.

“I was surprised and pretty excited to see Braden waving at me from the wharf,” he said.

An Able Electronic Warfare sailor in the Royal New Zealand Navy, 21-year old Braden said he’d spoken to his boss about the privilege.

“I sweet talked him to allow me to relieve another member of the berthing party,” he said.

“I saw Rowan on the flight deck of Darwin as she pulled in and gave him a big wave.

“Then as soon as the brow was down and customs cleared the vessel, I jumped on board and gave him a big-ass hug.”

Rowan, who has been a member of Darwin’s ship’s company for one month is the eldest of six siblings including Braden, Gabe (18), Brenna (15), Emily (10), and Justin (11) from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui areas.

He said the visit to Auckland was the first time in several years all four brothers would be in the same place at the same time.

“Gabe’s been travelling a lot but I’m pretty sure he’s got his sights set on a career as a Mine Clearance Diving Officer in the Navy too,” he said.

At the request of the New Zealand government, Darwin was diverted from her planned participation in the 75th Anniversary International Naval Review in Auckland, following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Kaikoura region on 14 November.

Together with Destroyer USS Sampson, Canadian frigate HMCS Vancouver and ships from the Royal New Zealand Navy, they evacuated and resupplied the isolated towns after the State Highway 1, was severed by massive slips.