A Royal New Zealand Navy sailor has died following an incident during a dive training exercise on Monday night at the Devonport Naval Base.

New Zealand Defence Force confirmed today Zachary Christopher Yarwood, aged 23, died in North Shore Hospital yesterday.

A New Zealand Defence Force spokesman said the sailor was taking part in advanced diver training in about six to eight metres of water when the incident happened.

Colleagues gave the man immediate first aid at the scene and called emergency services.

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Zachary Christopher Yarwood, 23, was engaged to be married.
Zachary Christopher Yarwood, 23, was engaged to be married.

Yarwood joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 2013 and served in HMNZS Te Kaha and Philomel.

He had been looking to join HMNZS Matataua as a qualified diver.

"My condolences are with Zachary's fiancee, his parents and his two beloved brothers as they, along with us, come to terms with his passing," Chief of Navy Rear Admiral David Proctor said.

"Today the Navy is mourning a young sailor who had already packed so much into his career and embodied our core values of courage, commitment and comradeship in everything he did.

"Zachary's loss will affect not only his family, but many within the Navy and the wider NZDF whanau."

Yarwood's family are being supported by a Family Liaison Officer, his shipmates and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Police, WorkSafe NZ and the Coroner are investigating the incident. The NZDF will be conducting a Court of Inquiry.