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US Marine dies while swimming at Hawaii base

The North Beach at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Adam Korolev/Released)
April 27, 2022

A U.S. Marine stationed on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) died on Sunday, April 24, while swimming at a beach on the base, the Marine Corps first revealed Monday.

The service told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the Marine died after getting into trouble while swimming off of North Beach — a beach area located on the northern end of the base.

An MCBH spokesperson told KHON2 that first responders began a coordinated search effort after they received a call for emergency services at North Beach. Local authorities, including the Honolulu Fire Department, joined in the search effort. First responders eventually located the service member and began life-saving efforts before crews transported the Marine to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Officials have not revealed the identity of the Marine, but the Marine’s next of kin had been notified of the death as of Tuesday.

The incident remains under investigation and the effort is being led by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and local authorities.

The Marine is the second service member to die at MCBH in the span of a week. 29-year-old U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Aaron Fowler died on Sunday, April 17, during a training evolution on the base. Fowler was assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One and was participating in the third phase of the Marine Corps Reconnaissance Leaders Course at the time of his death.

The exact cause of Fowler’s death was unclear and NCIS is also investigating that incident.

The Marine Corps Reconnaissance Leaders Course course takes place over an eight-week period, with participants going through training to plan and lead teams through amphibious, ground reconnaissance and patrol operations. The course’s third phase takes place in Hawaii and goes through swimming progressions and amphibious operations.

Fowler was a native of Oklahoma and joined the Navy in 2012. Fowler then commissioned as an officer after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in May of 2018. Fowler reported to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One in January 2022.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit One is based out of San Diego, California. The unit supports the Navy fleet and joint force by clearing explosive hazards to allow access to denied areas. The Navy EOD unit also clears undersea explosive hazards to allow for freedom of movement at sea.