SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — A sailor died Wednesday aboard the USS Essex while the ship was anchored off Bali, Indonesia, according to 7th Fleet officials.

The male sailor — whose name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification — suffered a blunt trauma injury during a daily check of the ship’s weapons systems, 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Anthony Falvo said.

Following the injury, the sailor lost consciousness and the ship’s Fleet Surgical Team attempted but was unable to revive him “despite exhaustive efforts to save his life,” according to a 7th Fleet news release. He was pronounced dead on board.

Falvo declined to comment on the cause of death when reached by email Wednesday night, saying the incident is under investigation.

The Essex, a Wasp class multipurpose amphibious assault ship, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem arrived for a port visit in Bali on Sunday, a news release from the Essex said earlier in the week.

Capt. David Fluker, commander of the Essex, was quoted in the release as saying that after Operation Tomodachi earlier this year and a steady schedule of exercises, sailors were expected to enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation.

author picture
Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.

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 Now