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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Three sailors found dead on US aircraft carrier

(CNN) — Three sailors on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington were found dead in less than a week, the Navy said, as the Naval Criminal Investigation Service and local officials investigate the deaths.

One sailor was found unresponsive on the aircraft carrier last Friday, while two other sailors were found at off-base locations on 9 and 10 April.

A Navy spokesman, Commander Rein Momsen, said: “While these incidents are under investigation, there are no preliminary indications to suggest a connection between these tragic events.”

The Navy did not specify the cause of death for any of the three, but a special Rapid Psychiatric Intervention team was on board the ship. The purpose of these teams is to provide short-term mental health support following a traumatic event such as loss of life.

The Navy identified the sailor, who was found dead on April 9, as Mikel Sharp, a retail services specialist, Class III. The Navy identified the sailor, who was found dead on April 10, as Natasha Huffman, an internal communications electrician, Class III.

The Navy did not identify the third sailor, who was found unresponsive on the ship on Friday and died.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family, friends and fellow sailors of our sailors,” Momsen said.

USS George Washington is a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It is currently in Newport News, Virginia, where it is undergoing a complex overhaul and refueling, a one-time process to replace the ship’s nuclear fuel and refill it for future operations. The ship has been in Newport News since August 2017.

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