Newport News shipbuilder dies in possible fall from aircraft carrier George Washington

By HUGH LESSIG | The Daily Press | Published: August 20, 2019

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Tribune News Service) — A construction supervisor at Newport News Shipbuilding died Monday while working on the aircraft carrier George Washington, according to the company president.

In a message to employees, President Jennifer Boykin said the employee, who had 39 years of experience, died Monday afternoon.

“We believe he fell while working in a tank, but we are still very early into the investigation,” she said.

Rescue personnel from the shipyard and the Navy “worked very hard in the rescue effort,” she said. “Tragically, this effort was unsuccessful.”

As of 4 p.m., efforts were continuing to recover the worker from the tank. The victim had not been identified.

Our main focus right now is on this recovery effort,” she said. “More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please keep our fellow shipbuilder in your thoughts and prayers.”

The George Washington has been undergoing a midlife refueling and overhaul at the shipyard. It is complex job that involves refueling the ship’s nuclear reactors and replacing or refurbishing major components.

The job was about 55 percent complete as of June.

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