A U.S. Navy SEAL died Wednesday during a parachute training exercise in Perris, California, after his chute malfunctioned, according to a Navy press release. The sailor’s identity will be revealed after next of kin are notified. An investigation is underway to find out what caused the deadly malfunction.
Riverside County firefighters responded to a call of a “skydiver down” shortly after 9 a.m. in Perris, a town that sits just outside Riverside and Los Angeles. A still capture from a video shot following the incident shows firefighters taking away a body draped in an American flag.
The sailor was stationed with the Navy’s Special Warfare Group ONE, based out of San Diego. Details surrounding the incident are scarce, with the Navy only saying that he “died from injuries sustained during parachute jump training.”
The Navy did not make clear the nature of the training nor elaborate on details of the actual incident. NBC News gathered from military officials that the jump involved several Navy SEAL operators and that it took place in a “remote training area” of Perris. The Navy SEALs, which stands for Sea, Air and Land Teams, are considered one of the most elite fighting groups in the U.S. military. Each prospective SEAL must pass rigorous and often dangerous training sessions to join the force.
The sailor is the third Navy SEAL to die after a parachute training accident in the last 12 months. In June, Chief Special Warfare Operator Bradley Cavner died “during an accident while conducting parachute jump training operations” in El Centro, about 100 miles away from Perris, according to a Navy press release.
Special Operator 1st Class William Marston of Concord, New Hampshire, died in mid-January after making a “hard landing” during a jump exercise in central Florida, according to the Navy Times. A witness said an unidentified part of Marston’s parachute detached about 40-60 feet above the ground. Marston was found unconscious with a broken leg, but was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital.