A prospective Navy SEAL died Friday during an introductory pool exercise at special warfare training, the Navy has confirmed.
Emergency responders were not able to revive Seaman James Derek Lovelace of Crestview, Florida, when he was pulled out of the pool and transported to a civilian hospital after showing signs of troubled trouble swimming, Naval Special Warfare Center spokesman Lt. Trevor Davids said. told Navy Times on Tuesday.
Lovelace and his cohort from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training Class 319 were doing a pool familiarization exercise in their first week of training, Davids said, treading water in camouflage uniforms and dive masks.
"In the training pool during the evolution, safety observers saw he was having difficulty," he said.
The instructors pulled him to the edge of the pool, where he lost consciousness. They called 911 and attempted to resuscitate him on-scene, but he was taken by emergency medical services to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.
Davids couldn't confirm how many people were in the pool at the time of Lovelace's death, though the evolution involved his entire class in sections.
If someone is struggling during the training, students will be shifted to another part of the pool and more instructors will move in to observe.
"We scale that student-instructor ratio based on training," he said. "If we see someone having difficulty, we scale up the student-instructor ratio."
Naval Special Warfare Command has launched an investigation into the death, Davids said, but he couldn't speculate as to whether Lovelace had a condition that brought on the incident or whether he hadn't been feeling well on FridaySaturday.
Local authorities will be completing an autopsy, he added.
Lovelace, captain of his varsity baseball team at Crestview High School, studied mechanical engineering at Faulkner State Community College before enlisting in November, according to his Navy bio.
He graduated from boot camp in January and reported to BUD/S in April. He is survived by his father and two sisters.