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U.S. Sailor Dead After Falling Overboard


U.S. Navy seaman recruit named David L. Spearman | Image by U.S. Navy

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A 19-year-old U.S. Navy seaman recruit named David L. Spearman died after falling overboard the USS Arleigh Burke on August 1 while the vessel was in waters off the coast of Helsinki, Finland.

“This bright, young man made an oversized positive impact on Arleigh Burke,” said the ship’s commander, Pete Flynn. “My entire crew’s thoughts and prayers are with Seaman Recruit Spearman’s family and friends.  We offer our most sincere condolences for their loss.”

Spearman’s family confirmed on August 3 that their son was dead, CBS News reported.

Spearman graduated from Naval boot camp in 2022 and was deployed on the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), a class guided-missile destroyer commissioned in Norfolk, Virginia, on July 4, 1991.

A North Carolina native, Spearman reported to Arleigh Burke in April of this year following training at the Surface Warfare Engineering School Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, according to the Navy.

Spearman’s confirmed death halted search and rescues missions in the area following his disappearance. Commander Flynn thanked the Air Force and ally navies for their efforts to help find the lost sailor.

“Thank you to the Swedish and German navies, the U.S. Air Force, and the Sailors from Arleigh Burke for their extensive efforts to search for our shipmate,” he said.

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