Missing Sailors Confirmed to Be Navy SEALs Lost During Boarding Mission

Two Navy SEALS remain missing two days after they went missing during a boarding operation off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, according to new reports.

The report from  ABC, which was based on three U.S. officials it did not name, said a search and rescue mission was still under way as of Saturday.

The SEALs were on what ABC called an “interdiction mission” on Thursday in the Gulf of Aden, between Somalia and Yemen, according to ABC.

While climbing up the side of a vessel to board it, a SEAL was knocked into the sea by high waves.

An official CNN did not name said the incident took place while there were eight-foot swells on the sea.

Following standard protocol, another SEAL jumped in the water to rescue the first SEAL.

Military officials have begun the process of family notification, a former official said, according to The New York Times.

Neither the SEALs nor the ship from which they were operating has been identified.

The Washington Post reported that operations to deter piracy are common in the region.

Vessels are often boarded to ensure they have the proper paperwork and are not transporting banned items.

The Post quoted one official it did not name as saying the incident was not related to the recent U.S. and British attacks against Houthi rebels in Yemen, or to an incident in which Iran seized a ship.

The Post noted that in November, five crew members of what it called “an elite aviation unit” died during a refueling accident near Cyprus.

On Saturday, U.S. Central Command issued a statement about the missing sailors.

“On the evening of January 11, two U.S. Navy Sailors were reported missing at sea while conducting operations off the coast of Somalia. Search and rescue operations are currently ongoing to locate the two sailors. For operational security purposes, we will not release additional information until the personnel recovery operation is complete,” the statement said

“Out of respect for the families affected, we will not release further information on the missing personnel at this time,” the statement said.

“The sailors were forward-deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet (C5F) area of operations supporting a wide variety of missions,” the statement said.

The 5th Fleet’s area of operations includes the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, according to the fleet’s website.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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