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Cruiser Normandy sailor reported overboard near North Carolina, massive search underway

A sailor from the Norfolk-based cruiser Normandy was reported overboard Tuesday afternoon off Cherry Point, North Carolina, triggering a massive search-and-rescue effort by the Navy and Coast Guard.

The sailor was reported overboard six hours ago, according to an account obtained by Navy Times.

The destroyer Bainbridge and a Navy P-8, as well as an HH-60J Jayhawk helicopter and a C-130 from the Coast Guard, were all assisting in the search. The carrier Abraham Lincoln — with four embarked helicopters — was also en route. Normandy did not have an embarked helo.

A spokesman for U.S. Fleet Forces Command confirmed the search Tuesday evening.

"A search-and-rescue effort is underway for a USS Normandy sailor who went overboard at approximately 3 p.m. local today," said  Lt. Cmdr. Brian Wierzbicki. "The ship was conducting independent training approximately 80 nautical miles off the coast of North Carolina at the time of the incident.  

"Navy surface ships and aircraft are en route to assist Normandy and Coast Guard aircraft are currently on station supporting the search-and-rescue operations. Our thoughts are with the USS Normandy family and we will provide updates as they become available."

Navy Times is withholding identifying information about the sailor while the search is ongoing.

The water temperature off the coastal area of the Outer Banks was around 69 degrees at 8:30 p.m., with an air temperature of about 76 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's website.

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