by WorldTribune Staff, April 20, 2022
Three U.S. Navy sailors have died on the USS George Washington aircraft carrier in less than a week.
Two of the sailors, both age 23, have been identified. They are Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Natasha Huffman, who died on April 10, and Retail Services Specialist 3rd Class Mika’il Rayshawn Sharp who passed away on April 9, both on separate undisclosed locations on the ship.
The Navy did not explain the causes or circumstances surrounding each death.
The third victim, whose identity has not been released, was found unresponsive on April 15.
All three died on the USS George Washington while it was in dry dock in Newport News, Virginia, where it has been undergoing refurbishments since 2017.
“While these incidents remain under investigation, there is no initial indication to suggest there is a correlation between these tragic events,” Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Reann Mommsen said. “Our thoughts and condolences are with the family, friends, and shipmates of our sailors.”
The USS George Washington, which First Lady Barbara Bush christened in 1990, was commissioned in 1992. The Nimitz-class ship was deployed in the first Gulf War and has seen duty in Japan, Korea, the Caribbean and South America.
The ship, which has an estimated 50-year service life, is currently undergoing a massive mid-career refit in Newport News. It was supposed to be completed, but as the Navy Times reported in March, work is behind schedule on the refurbishment. The work is expected to be complete in December of 2022.