NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Three Sailors from the USS George Washington aircraft carrier were found dead in less than one week.
According to a report from CNN, the Navy said the three Sailors' deaths are being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and local authorities.
One Sailor was found unresponsive onboard the carrier last Friday, while two other Sailors were found at off-base locations on April 9 and 10, CNN reports. The Navy identified the Sailor found dead on April 9 as Retail Services Specialist 3rd Class Mikail Sharp and the Sailor found dead on April 10 as Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Natasha Huffman.
“It is with a heavy heart we can confirm that a USS George Washington (CVN-73) Sailor was found unresponsive on board the ship on April 15. The Sailor was treated by the medical team on board before being transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News where the Service member passed away. The incident is under investigation and the command continues to cooperate with NCIS," the Navy said in a statement.
The third Sailor was identified as Master-at-Arms Seaman Recruit Xavier Hunter Mitchell-Sandor, according to USNI News. The outlet reported he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
On Friday, USNI News reported that all three Sailors died by suicide.
“We can confirm seven total deaths of service members assigned to USS George Washington over the past 12 months (4 in 2021, and 3 in 2022)," LCDR Robery myers told News 3. "The circumstances surrounding these incidents vary and it is premature to make assumptions, as some incidents remain under investigation. The death of any Sailor is one too many and we will thoroughly investigate these incidents to ensure we are providing the appropriate support and resources to Sailors at sea and in the shipyards."
CNN reports that a Special Psychiatric Rapid Intervention Team, which provides short-term mental health support after a traumatic event, is on board.
The USS George Washington is a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier currently in Newport News. It has been in the city since August 2017.
"Our thoughts and condolences are with the family, friends, and shipmates of our Sailors,” the Navy said.