Naval Special Warfare sailor dies days after helicopter landing incident

A sailor assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit died days after sustaining fatal injuries as part of a helicopter landing near Virginia Beach, Va., the Navy revealed Tuesday. 

The unidentified sailor died at 12:35 p.m. Monday at a local hospital after sustaining injuries after the helicopter landing during joint training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story on May 5, the Navy said in a statement. 

Virginia Beach’s local WAVY television station reported at the time of the accident that an aircraft experienced a hard landing at the base and three people were sent to the hospital. 

The deceased sailor’s immediate family has been notified, but their name is being withheld until 24 hours after the alert, in accordance with Navy policy. 

“The cause of the incident and tragic loss of a teammate remains under investigation,” the service added. 

This is the second known Naval Special Warfare death within a year. 

In December, Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, the commanding officer of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 8, died after being injured “during a fast-rope training evolution,” a drill done from an airborne helicopter on Virginia’s coast. 

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