A sailor from the cruiser Shiloh whom Navy officials said fell overboard last week, triggering a massive search-and-rescue effort, has been discovered on board.
Presumed dead after going missing June 8, Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Peter Mims reportedly hid himself in one of the engine rooms, according to two sources familiar with the situation.
It is unclear how Mims survived a week in the engineering space or where he was hiding. He will be flown off Shiloh for evaluation soon.
Mims' disappearance prompted a massive, 50-hour search-and-rescue effort off the coast of Japan that included Japanese Coast Guard and naval forces.
Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from the carrier Ronald Reagan along with a Navy P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, the destroyers John S. McCain and McCampbell, and the Reagan itself all assisted Shiloh in the search for the missing sailor, according to releasse from U.S. 7th Fleet during the search.
Japanese Coast Guard ship Kudaka also assisted in the search. A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship and a second Japanese Coast Guard ship assisted early in the search that combed more than 5,500 square miles of water off Japan.
Navy officials from U.S. 7th Fleet did not immediately comment Thursday about the status of Mims.
In a statement posted on the 7th Fleet website, the Reagan's strike group commander said he was relieved by the discovery.
"We are thankful to have found our missing shipmate and appreciate all the hard work of our Sailors and Japanese partners in searching for him," Rear Adm. Charles Williams said. "I am relieved that this Sailor’s family will not be joining the ranks of Gold Star Families that have sacrificed so much for our country."
Mims enlisted in the Navy in February 2014 and reported to Shiloh in August of that year. He was advanced to petty officer third class in August 2015, according to the release. Mims has earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon and Sea Service Ribbon. Mims was frocked to petty officer third class in May, according to a Navy spokesman.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News. Before that, he reported for Navy Times.