Navy Investigating 7 USS George Washington Sailor Deaths

Navy Investigating 7 USS George Washington Sailor Deaths Navy Investigating 7 USS George Washington Sailor Deaths The aircraft carrier USS George Washington departs on July 25, 2010 from Busan, South Korea. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas / U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Monday, 25 April 2022 01:44 PM

The U.S. Navy is opening an investigation into the deaths of seven sailors on the USS George Washington aircraft carrier since the start of 2021.

"Adm. Daryl Caudle, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, has directed Rear Adm. John Meier, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, to investigate and assess the reported deaths of sailors assigned to the USS George Washington," U.S. Fleet Forces Command Capt. Sarah Self-Kyler told The Hill in a statement Monday.

There have been seven deaths on the aircraft carrier since 2020, including three in one week this month, Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Robert Myers told The Hill.

There was at least one confirmed as a suicide and another three believed to be suicides. One was attributed to post-COVID-19 complications, while another was determined to be health related. The seventh death remains undetermined.

The investigation reportedly will examine command and culture issues, including correlations with the deaths.

Also, the existing Total Sailor Fitness programs will be under review with the Naval Air Force Atlantic, the USS George Washington, and the Navy, according to Self-Kyler.

The most recent deaths were April 15 on the ship, and April 10 and April 9 at off-base locations.

"The circumstances surrounding these incidents vary and it is premature to make assumptions, as some incidents remain under investigation," Meyers told The Hill. "The death of any sailor is one too many, and we will thoroughly investigate these incidents to ensure we are providing the appropriate support and resources to sailors at sea and in the shipyards."