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US Navy ends search for sailor overboard from aircraft carrier in Arabian Sea

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ian McKnight, who went overboard from USS Nimitz on Sept. 6, 2020. (U.S. Navy/Released)
September 08, 2020

The U.S. Navy has called off the search for a sailor believed to have gone overboard from the USS Nimitz late Sunday in the Arabian Sea.

“The U.S. Navy has ended search and rescue efforts for Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ian McKnight,” an official release from the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet said on Tuesday.

Search and rescue efforts involving the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force ended after two days. USS Nimitz crew first called “man overboard” at 6:47 pm local time on Sunday after conducting a ship-wide search for McKnight after which they were unable to locate him.

McKnight’s duty status had been listed as “Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown,” since Sunday. His next of kin have been notified, the Navy said on Tuesday.

“We are deeply saddened as we call off the search for IT2 Ian McKnight,” said USS Nimitz commanding officer Capt. Max Clark. “We hold his family and friends in our hearts during this difficult time.”

“The strike group team sends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Petty Officer McKnight,” Carrier Strike Group 11 commander Rear Adm. Jim Kirk said. “I offer my thanks to all the Sailors and Airmen who were involved in the search for our shipmate.”

The incident is under investigation.

Nimitz hosts approximately 5,000 sailors and Marines.

The carrier, which heads Carrier Strike Group 11, has been conducting operations in the Arabian Sea since July when it replaced USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was coming off a record-breaking at-sea deployment.