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Sailor dies while working on ship’s drains

By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 29, 2009

A sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis died Friday after being crushed while working on the ship’s drains during a port visit to Singapore, Navy officials said.

The sailor’s name is being withheld pending notification of family, Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Davis said Monday.

"The sailor was aboard a small boat conducting a routine procedure to secure drains from the ship’s catapult system when he was crushed between the small boat and the ship’s hull," Davis said in an e-mail.

The small boat was contracted by the ship’s support agent, Davis said.

Crewmembers secure the catapult system’s drains to keep oily water from emptying into the harbor, Davis said.

The sailor was treated at Changi Pier by ship medics and then taken by ambulance to Changi Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation is continuing, Davis said.

The ship had arrived in Singapore on Friday for a scheduled port visit during a six-month deployment in the western Pacific Ocean.

About 5,000 sailors serve aboard the 97,000-ton Stennis, based out of Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Wash.