Misawa airman who drowned off Japan coast identified
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — An airman who drowned in northern Japan over the weekend was identified by Misawa Air Base officials Monday.
Airman Robert A. Hasley, 24, from Des Moines, Iowa, died after being pulled to sea with five other airmen while swimming in a rocky cove near the air station in northern Honshu.
Hasley, a single servicemember who was assigned to the 35th Maintenance Squadron, was the only one not rescued by emergency crews during the incident Saturday. His body was recovered by Japanese divers around noon Sunday.
The five rescued airmen were treated at the Misawa hospital and released.
The off-duty airmen were about 16 miles south of the base at Tanahashi Cove, which has signs written in Japanese — but not English – warning against swimming, base spokesman 1st Lt. Jeff Nagan said Monday.
Nagan said the incident, including whether the airmen were authorized to be in the area, is under investigation. Initial findings show they became stranded by rising waves and treacherous waters.
The base sent out a notice of the death Monday.
“The death of one of our own affects us all. There is nothing wrong with seeking help through this difficult time,” according to a copy of the notice obtained by Stars and Stripes. “Misawa is a tight-knit community — no one should have to grieve alone.”
A memorial service for Hasley will be held at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the base’s combined officers-enlisted club, Nagan said.