A 21-year-old seaman died early Saturday morning in San Diego following a fall off an aircraft carrier’s elevator, officials told Navy Times.
He toppled off one of the lowered elevators of the aircraft carrier Nimitz at 9:04 p.m. Friday while the vessel was in port at Naval Air Station North Island, they said.
First responders rushed the seaman to the University of California San Diego Regional Trauma Center for treatment but the sailor was pronounced dead around 2 a.m. Saturday.
“All of that is being investigated now by NCIS. It’s ongoing right now,” said Nimitz spokesman Ensign Bill Petkovski.
Following Navy policy, the sailor’s name is being withheld until 24 hours after his next of kin received notification of the mishap.
Nimitz left its Bremerton, Washington, homeport on Sept. 16 to conduct pre-deployment training off the California coast.
Petkovski said that the crew was making a port visit following “routine operations” when the accident occurred.
Commissioned in 1975, the Navy’s oldest aircraft carrier emerged from dry dock at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility shortly before Memorial Day after receiving upgrades across the vessel.
The renovations targeted steering components, hull preservation, combat systems equipment, berthing areas and Nimitz’s aircraft elevator doors.