Overboard USS New York Sailor Rescued after Five Hours in Atlantic

By Sam LaGrone USNI News

USS New York (LPD 21) transits in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in October 2012. US Navy Photo

USS New York (LPD 21) transits in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility in October 2012. US Navy Photo

A sailor who fell off amphibious warship USS New York (LPD-21) on September 11 was recovered safely after a five-hour search off the coast of South Carolina, U.S. Fleet Forces Command told USNI News on late Friday afternoon.

A MH-60R from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron “Grandmasters” (HSM-46) assigned to the guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109) found the sailor in the water shortly after 11 p.m. — five hours after the first muster when the sailor was found missing, Fleet Forces spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Katie Hodgins told USNI News.

The sailor was transported to New York’s medical department and was treated for minor injuries.

Hodgins did neither identify the sailor nor know if the sailor was enlisted or an officer or if the sailor went overboard while on the job.

The guided missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG-69), and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tybee (WPB- 1330) participated in the search.

An investigation has begun into the cause, but Fleet Forces neither had information on the agency undertaking the investigation nor if the Navy suspected any wrongdoing related to the sailor going overboard.

New York was conducting a training exercise with embarked Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) ahead of a planned Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) deployment, according an image issued by the service showing Marines and sailors on the ship’s flight deck.

Sailors and Marine had held a remembrance ceremony on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 earlier on Thursday.

The ship has a special connection to attacks — seven tons of steel from the World Trade Center was used in construction of New York’s bow.

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