USS Shiloh sailor who went overboard identified
July 12, 2009
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS Shiloh sailor missing at sea since Wednesday was rigging shore power cables when he fell overboard, Navy 7th Fleet officials said Friday.
Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Geathers, 30, an electrician’s mate, was preparing for the ship’s return to its berth at Yokosuka Naval Base when witnesses reported that he fell from the ship’s fantail, according to a 7th Fleet news release.
The Shiloh, a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, remained at sea Friday as the search for Geathers continued.
U.S. Navy and Japanese ships and helicopters have searched across large swaths of Tokyo Bay, including along the western Miura and eastern Chiba Peninsula coasts.
Geathers fell about three miles south of Buoy One on Wednesday as the Shiloh was preparing to enter Tokyo Harbor.
The ship was returning to Yokosuka following a cruise to Kure, near Hiroshima. The cruise was part of a summer training program for Naval Academy Midshipmen, 7th Fleet officials said Friday.
Geathers, of Greenpond, S.C., enlisted in the Navy in 1997. He is on his third tour at Yokosuka, where his past ship assignments included the USS Blue Ridge and the USS Cowpens.
Geathers has also served at the Southeast Regional Maintenance Center in Mayport, Fla., and on the USS Mobile Bay in San Diego, Calif.