Support our mission

Two U.S. sailors on liberty were found dead in a hotel room in Tema, Ghana, on New Year’s Day, the Navy announced Wednesday.

The sailors were stationed aboard USS Fort McHenry, an amphibious dock-landing ship based out of Little Creek, Va. A third sailor, also off the ship, discovered the bodies.

“The cause of death for both sailors is presently unknown, and the incident is being investigated by Navy Criminal Investigative Service in conjunction with the Ghanaian Police and Investigative Division,” said Navy Lt. Patrick Foughty, a Sixth Fleet spokesman.

“Currently, there was no immediate evidence of foul play,” he said.

The sailors’ names are expected to be released Thursday because Defense Department policy dictates that the names of fallen servicemembers not be publicized until 24 hours after their loved-ones receive official notification of their death, according to the Navy.

Foughty said that the investigating agencies were awaiting results from toxicology screenings.

The sailors’ bodies are in the custody of Ghanaian authorities, Foughty said. U.S. State Department officials are coordinating with the Ghanaian officials to take custody of the remains, and have them sent to Germany for autopsy.

The USS Fort McHenry is participating in a deployment as part of the Africa Partnership Station initiative. The project is designed to provide engagement and training opportunities between U.S. and African nations with the goal of improving maritime security.

The ship has been in the vicinity of the Gulf of Guinea since November conducting training programs with local navies and coast guards.

It pulled into the port of Tema, some 20 miles from the capital city of Accra, on Saturday.

Stars and Stripes reporter Jeff Schogol contributed to this report.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up