A ROYAL Naval Officer from Somerset joined an elite group after passing an important aviation course.

Lieutenant Marty Van Duin, from Langport, (pictured) has successfully graduated as a Principal Warfare Officer, in aviation, from HMS Collingwood, at Fareham, Hampshire.

He is one of a select band of aviators within the Royal Navy to have passed the Principal Warfare Officer Aviation course, which is designed to prepare naval personnel for selection to senior appointments across the fleet.

The 39-year-old joined the Royal Navy 14 years ago and has since served on many ships and bases including HMS Sheffield, HMS Argyll, HMS Manchester and at RAF Stations Barkston Heath, Valley and Shawbury before arriving at RNAS Yeovilton to fly the Lynx helicopter.

He is married to wife, Hjørdis, and has four children, Malachi, Elias, Raffael and Safirah. He also enjoys coaching under-7s and under-8s rugby and playing golf.