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President of the Republic to award Petty Officer 2nd Class Marko Knaps, who was killed in service, Order of the Cross of the Eagle


The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, has adopted the decision to posthumously award Petty Officer 2nd Class Marko Knaps, a member of the Defence Forces and diver with the Mine Countermeasure Division of the Estonian Navy who died in a mine countermeasure operation, the Gold Cross of the Gross of the Eagle.

The Estonian Navy cleared World War II mines within the framework of a mine countermeasure operation in Estonian waters. On 16 August, 22-year-old Petty Officer 2nd Class Knaps was performing his duties to dispose of aerial bombs and was diving at sea, a mile and a half from the headland of Kakumäe. While transporting the bombs to a safe place, Petty Officer 2nd Class Knaps failed to respond to control tugs made by fellow servicemen. The alert diver dived to discover Petty Officer 2nd Class Knaps, unconscious, on the seabed at the depth of 23 metres.

Marko Knaps took his compulsory military training in 2010-2011 at the Naval Base and then began service in MCM Squadron, where he served as Petty Officer 2nd Class in charge of weapons on the mine hunting vessel Sakala and since August 2011 as a diver in the Diving Group.

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