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Navy ends search for missing USS Stethem sailor

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Posted at 2:11 PM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 17:12:15-04

(KGTV) - The search for a missing sailor on the USS Stethem has been suspended.

The US Navy Friday called off the search for the missing sailor, who is believed to have vanished from the destroyer around 9 a.m. on Aug. 1, in the waters about 140 miles west of Subic Bay in the Philippines.

"After an extensive search, with help from the JMSDF and PLA(N), we were unable to locate our Sailor," Capt. Jeffrey Bennett, commander, Destroyer Squadron 15, said. "I offer my deepest condolences to the Sailor's family, friends, and the Stethem Steelworkers." 

Aircraft reportedly surveyed the area multiple times, and the Chinese navy and Japanese military vessels also aided in the search that spanned 79 hours across 10,000 square miles of ocean.

The sailor's identity is being withheld until next of kin are notified, the Navy said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmate, their family and the officers and crew of USS Stethem," Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander, Task Force 70, said. "I appreciate greatly the dedication and professionalism shown by all who participated in the search efforts."

The Navy is currently investigating the incident.

The USS Stethem is homeported in Yokosuka, Japan.