Sailor thought to have committed suicide on warship

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The Independent Online

A sailor is believed to have killed himself on board a Royal Navy warship just months after his best friend took his own life in the same way.

Sam Hatton, 20, is understood to have shot himself on the minehunter HMS Cattistock while docked at Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, on Sunday.

A tribute page titled "R.I.P. Sam Hatton x" has been set up on Facebook.

Messages left speak of Mr Hatton's close friendship with Matthew Webster, a 23-year-old sailor from Leicestershire who shot himself at the Faslane nuclear submarine base in Scotland in February.

Another message also tells how Mr Hatton had lost his mother as well.

And another friend suggests that Mr Hatton was a father-to-be.

Amy Fish said: "Ricky Ricky Ricky...I hope someone is kicking your arse up there for this...RIP honey...your back with ya mum and Webbo now...she'll have her hands full keeping you 2 under control xx."

Lucy Lee Scouarnec said: "Love and miss you Sam still can't believe it my heart goes out to all your friends and family and soon to be son forever in my heart Sam love you Lucy xxxxxxxxx."

Rick Valentine said: "We can't believe this has happened mate what brought our friendship together wasn't the best of circumstances but now its happened again, you were like a younger brother to the Websters."

Kimberley Newport said: "R.I.P sam, cant believe ur gone, its not sinking in, so many memories n giggles are running throu me, life wasnt easy but we sure had sum top times!... we will all be missing u madly, the memories will live on forever! always xxx lay to rest babe xxx"

Police and the Royal Navy have launched separate investigations into the death of the rating.

A cause of death will not be confirmed by police until the results of a post-mortem examination are known.

But a Hampshire Police spokesman said that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

A Royal Navy spokesman said that the sailor's next-of-kin had been informed.

He added: "The Royal Navy will be carrying out its own investigation into the death.

"As the police investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate for the Royal Navy to comment."

Police later confirmed Mr Hatton's identity and said he was a Royal Navy engineering technician who lived at HMS Nelson on Portsmouth Naval Base.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "Detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the cause of his death."