US Navy suspends search for missing sailor on USS Stethem
US Navy(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Navy has suspended its operations to locate a missing sailor on the USS Stethem, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
The sailor was believed to have been reported overboard at 9 a.m. local time on Aug. 1, Pentagon spokesman Cpt. Jeff Davis told ABC News. During that time, the destroyer vessel was conducting routine operations in international waters, about 140 miles west of the Subic Bay in the Philippines.
The Chinese navy and two Japanese military ships aided in the search. Aircraft surveyed the area multiple times but couldn’t locate the sailor.
“We appreciate the efforts of Japan and China in rendering assistance, in the spirit of good seamanship,” said Davis.
The Joint Personnel Recovery Center of Hawaii also assisted in the search, according to the Navy Times.
The identification of the sailor will not be announced until the sailor’s next of kin has been notified, the Navy said.
This isn’t the first major search and rescue mission the Navy has conducted in the Asian-Pacific Region this summer.
The first search and rescue effort took place between June 8 and June 11 to locate missing petty officer 3rd class Peter Mims of USS Shiloh. Mims was found hiding in the ship’s engineering area four days after search operations were suspended. He was charged with abandoning watch and dereliction of duty, a Navy spokesman said July 18.
The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japanese Coast Guard spent over 50 hours and 5,500-square-miles assisting the Navy with this search.
The spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said Mims was forced to attend the “admiral’s mast,” a non-judicial punishment with the Navy “due to the seriousness this had on…our Japanese allies.”
The Navy also lost seven sailors on June 17 when the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship 56 miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.
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