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US sailor dies on aircraft carrier Carl Vinson

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the centerpiece of the Carl Vinson Strike Group, leaves Naval Air Station North Island (Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
July 10, 2022

A U.S. Navy sailor on board the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) has died after being found unresponsive aboard the ship on Sunday.

In an emailed statement to American Military News, carrier spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Christina M. Gibson said the sailor was found unresponsive while the ship was pier side at Naval Air Station North Island in California. Members of the Navy Region Southwest Federal Fire Department responded to the scene and pronounced the Sailor deceased.

The identity of the deceased sailor is not yet known and will not be released until 24 hours after the sailor’s next of kin has been notified.

The sailor’s cause of death is also unknown and the Navy is investigating the incident, though Gibson said there are no indications of suicide or foul play at this time

The USS Carl Vinson has been the subject of other recent safety concerns.

In January, seven sailors were injured when an F-35 crashed while attempting to land aboard the USS Carl Vinson. The fighter jet skidded across the deck of the ship before falling over the edge and into the South China Sea. Leaked footage of the crash showed the fighter jet skidding across the deck and catching fire before it fell overboard.

The Navy began a recovery effort to find the advanced fighter jet that had fallen into the ocean. Five sailors were also charged for leaking footage of the F-35’s crash. Rob “Butch” Bracknell, a Marine veteran and military lawyer, said the sailors may have been charged for violating general orders or dereliction of their normal duties, or for violating a specific order not to record and leak video of the ship’s operations during deployment.

“There are two reasons to charge this conduct,” Bracknell told USNI News in February. “Leaking footage of a mishap might reveal platform or performance vulnerabilities to an adversary – maybe not in this case – but they want to deter the conduct in other cases and they want to deter sailors recording onboard systems with personal cell phones and broadcasting them.”

Ivan Armenta, a sailor who was assigned to the USS Carl Vinson, was also charged and sentenced in September of last year for providing the fentanyl-laced Percocet pills that killed shipmate James Edward Tice Jr. in August of 2020.