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Missing Nimitz sailor identified as unsuccessful search is called off

The Navy has called off search and rescue operations in the North Arabian Sea for a sailor missing from the aircraft carrier Nimitz, according to the U.S. 5th Fleet.

The Navy had been conducting a search for Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ian McKnight since Sunday.

“We are deeply saddened as we call off the search for IT2 Ian McKnight,” Capt. Max Clark, commanding officer of the Nimitz, said in a statement. “We hold his family and friends in our hearts during this difficult time.”

On Sunday, the Navy said the Nimitz and guided-missile cruiser Princeton were conducting search and rescue operations to locate the sailor, who the Navy had listed as “Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown” on the aircraft carrier. After a search of the entire carrier, the Navy said the ship called man overboard at approximately 6:47 p.m. local time on Sunday.

As of Tuesday morning, the service said the Navy along with the Air Force were still searching in the North Arabian Sea for McKnight.

An investigation into the incident has been initiated, and McKnight is still listed as “Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown.” His next of kin have been notified, the Navy said.

“The strike group team sends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Petty Officer McKnight,” Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of Carrier Strike Group 11, said in a statement Tuesday. “And I offer my thanks to all the Sailors and Airmen who were involved in the search for our shipmate.”

The Nimitz deployed July 8 from San Diego.

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