Navy Reveals Identity of Sailor Who Died

Navy Reveals Identity of Sailor Who Died

( – The US Navy has identified a 34-year-old sailor who went missing in the Red Sea and died. Oriola Michael Aregbesola was an aviation machinist’s mate stationed on the USS Mason. Commanding officer Cmdr. Eric Kohut praised Aregbesola, saying he “embodied the selfless character and thoughtful warrior spirit of the United States Navy Sailor.”

US Central Command said the Florida native went overboard on March 20 while deployed to the US 5th Fleet area of operations as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. The USS Mason has been in operation in the region since November.

Mr. Aregbesola is the third US service member to die in the area this year. In January, Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram disappeared near the coast of Somalia as they attempted to intercept an illegal shipment of weapons en route from Iran to Yemen. One of the SEALs fell underwater while trying to board the vessel, and the other followed in an attempt to rescue his colleague.

Chambers, from Maryland, enlisted in the Navy in 2021, having served with the SEALs since 2014. Mr. Ingram had served since 2019, and both were decorated servicemen. US forces searched for the missing personnel for ten days, after which Chambers and Ingram were formally declared deceased.

The Red Sea is one of the most volatile marine regions in the world, thanks to Houthi rebel groups launching attacks on ships in revenge for Western support for Israel in its war with Hamas. The Islamist Houthis are furthermore engaged in a civil war with their country’s government in Yemen.

On March 24, the US Naval Institute reported that the group launched five anti-ship ballistic missiles at a Chinese-owned tanker the previous weekend. US Central Command said the Huang Pu, which sails with a Panamanian flag, sent out a distress call but did not request immediate assistance. The ship suffered minimal damage.

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