Missing U.S. Sailor Identified

Oriola Micheal Aregbesola
Oriola Micheal Aregbesola | Image by Orie Areg/Twitter

A U.S. sailor who was lost overboard last week while deployed in the Red Sea has been identified by Navy officials.

Oriola Micheal Aregbesola, an aviation machinist’s mate second class, was working aboard the USS Mason when he died on March 20 as a result of a “non-combat related incident,” according to the Navy. Officials did not provide any further details but said the incident is under investigation.

Aregbesola was deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group last November. He was assigned to “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74.

The 34-year-old from Miramar, Florida, joined the Navy in July of 2020, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Defense. He reported to HSM-74 that following December, Navy officials said.

“Petty Officer Aregbesola fully embodied the selfless character and thoughtful warrior spirit of the United States Navy Sailor,” said Cmdr. Eric Kohut, HSM-74 commanding officer in the Navy statement. “His outstanding performance prior to and during deployment went well beyond aircraft maintenance; he truly saw and valued every member of the ship/air team.

“He will continue on in the heart of every Swamp Fox and our brothers and sisters in the IKE Carrier Strike Group. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

In January, two Navy SEALs went missing near the coast of Somalia and were later reported dead, as The Dallas Express reported.

They were identified as Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram, both of whom were serving with a U.S. West Coast-based SEAL team.

The two were lost in the waters of the Gulf of Aden during a nighttime mission to board a boat carrying Iranian-made missile parts to Yemen. One of the SEALs fell into rough waters while attempting to board the smuggling ship, and, following protocol, a second SEAL dove into the water in a rescue attempt, according to officials.

Over 10 days, a rescue operation involving multiple aircraft and surface ships looked for the missing SEALs over a 21,000 square-mile area.

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