Navy identifies dead USS George Washington sailor

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 16, 2012

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A 20-year-old sailor who died Saturday after falling from the aircraft carrier USS George Washington was identified by Navy officials Monday.

Seaman Rafael Martinez, 20, of Parkton, N.C., died after falling overboard onto a service barge at 6:43 p.m., while the ship was anchored in Hong Kong Harbor.

Martinez, an airman, had been assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-102, which is based out of Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.

A memorial service will be held aboard the George Washington at sea on Tuesday, according to a news release.

Martinez’s death remains under investigation, Navy officials said Monday night.

The George Washington, based out of Yokosuka, was on a scheduled port visit in Hong Kong when Martinez’s death occurred, Navy officials said.


U.S. and Japanese ships steam in formation behind the USS George Washington in this file photo.
Adam K. Thomas/Courtesy U.S. Navy


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