Body found underwater by U.S. Navy ship
January 10, 2009
NAPLES, Italy — The body of a civil service mariner was found in the waters where the USS Mount Whitney, the Navy’s Sixth Fleet command ship, is based in Gaeta north of Naples.
Officials would not release details such as the gender, age, nationality or occupation of the deceased until 24 hours after next of kin are notified.
The body was found by divers at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, officials said. They were called to the search because the mariner was last seen by the pier. The mariner, assigned to the ship, had been reported missing after failing to report for duty Monday.
"U.S. military and Italian authorities have been notified and will work together to investigate the death," according to Gillian M. Brigham, a spokeswoman with Sealift Logistics Command Europe. "The cause of death is unknown at this time."
Civil service mariners work for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command, normally aboard noncombatant ships. USS Mount Whitney is the first combatant ship with a crew comprised of both U.S. Navy sailors and civil service mariners.
Aboard the Mount Whitney, the mariners work in support jobs such as navigation, deck, engineering, laundry and galley services.