Navy is investigating several apparent suicides among the crew of the USS George Washington
The US Navy has opened an investigation after a wave of confirmed or suspected suicide deaths among sailors from the crew of the USS George Washington. three sailorseach other, the Navy confirmed to CBS News. The investigation will aim to determine if there were any underlying causes that led the crew members to take their own lives.
Mikail Sharp, Retail Services Specialist 3rd Class, and Natasha Huffman, Domestic Communications Electrician 3rd Class, were found dead on April 9 and 10 at separate sites on the aircraft carrier. The Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to CBS News that both deaths were suicides.
The third sailor, Master-at-Arms Seaman Recruit Xavier Hunter Mitchell-Sandor, was found unconscious aboard the ship on April 15 and was transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, Va., where he died.
Since 2017, the USS George Washington has been docked at Newport News Shipbuilding for a major overhaul. It operates with a reduced crew of approximately 2,500 people.
According to a Navy official, a total of seven USS George Washington crew members have died in the past ten months, including the three recent fatalities. The official said some of the additional four deaths, but not all, were also suicides.
It is not the first time that a series of suicides has been reported in similar circumstances. In 2019, three sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bushin a week because it underwent an overhaul.
Service members and veterans who are in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, and those who know a service member or veteran in crisis, can call the Military Crisis Line/Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
–David Martin and Eleanor Watson contributed reporting.