The Duke of York has led a memorial service for the three RAF airmen killed when their Tornado jets crashed in the Moray Firth.
Prince Andrew, who is honorary air commodore for RAF Lossiemouth, gave a reading at the service to remember Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole, Squadron Leader Samuel Bailey and Flight Lieutenant Adam Sanders.
The three men died while on a training exercise with XV(Reserve) Squadron. Their aircraft are thought to have collided before crashing into the Moray Firth just off the Caithness coast.
The Duke, who piloted Sea King helicopters from HMS Invincible during the Falklands war, was accompanied by his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and 800 others for the service in a hanger at RAF Lossiemouth.
Eulogies were read by the station commander, Group Captain Ian Gale, and Wing Commander Jonathon Moreton, who commands XV Squadron.
Local councillor Carolle Ralph attended on behalf of the local community. She said: “It was a very sad but moving tribute to those lost, clearly much loved and respected colleagues and friends. We can only imagine the continuing pain and sorrow of those who are left behind. I am sure they will have found some small comfort in today's ceremony by the compassionate words spoken and the huge show of support.”
Recovery of the bodies of two of the airmen and the wreckage of their aircraft continues. Civilian salvage vessel the Far Sapphire has been contracted by the MoD and arrived at the crash scene on Wednesday in the company of the Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Cattistock.
An MoD spokesman said they hoped to achieve some success in the salvage operation by the end of this week, adding that wreckage brought ashore would be transported to RAF Lossiemouth.
A fourth, unnamed, airman continues to recover from his injuries at a military hospital in England.
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