US Navy suspends search for sailor who went overboard in South China Sea

The US Navy has suspended rescue efforts for a sailor who went overboard in the South China Sea after a 79-hour search.

“After an extensive search … we were unable to locate our Sailor,” Capt. Jeffrey Bennett, commander of Destroyer Squadron 15, said in a statement. “I offer my deepest condolences to the Sailor’s family, friends, and the Stethem Steelworkers.”

The guided-missile destroyer USS Stetham reported a man overboard at around 9 a.m. local time on Aug. 1. US, Japanese, and Chinese ships all took part in the search-and-rescue effort, which covered about 10,000 square miles.

The sailor’s name is being withheld until next of kin are notified.

The search for a missing sailor was the third for the Navy since June. A sailor fell from the USS Normandy on June 6 and was later presumed dead after an extensive search. Another from the USS Shiloh, thought to have fallen overboard and presumed dead just days after the previous incident, was later found to be hiding in the ship’s engine room.

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