Navy officials late Sunday identified the sailor who died a day earlier after a mishap on board the aircraft carrier Nimitz.
Logistics Specialist Seaman Juan Jose Garcia-Herrera, 21, was declared dead early Saturday at the University of California San Diego Regional Trauma Center. Officials say that around 9:04 p.m. on Friday he fell off one of the lowered elevators of the warship while it was in port at Naval Air Station North Island.
Homeported in Bremerton, Washington, Nimitz has been conducting predeployment training off the coast of California.
Although sailors reported officials are targeting what happened to Garcia-Herrera while mounting a wooden block that spanned the elevator to the brow, Nimitz spokesman Ensign Bill Petkovski urged patience while Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents complete their probe.
“Once the investigation is complete and NCIS has determined exactly what happened, we’ll answer questions about all that,” he said.
Petkovski said a memorial service on board Nimitz is pending.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the sailor’s family,” said Petkovski. “This tragedy was unexpected.”
Originally from Chicago, Garcia-Herrera enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 23, 2017, and reported to Nimitz less than six months later after completing logistics specialist "A" school in Mississippi, according to his military records.
He deployed on board Nimitz later that year to support U.S. operations against Islamic State fighters in the Middle East, officials added.