KEY POINTS

  • Unnamed sailor went missing from aircraft carrier USS Nimitz
  • Guided-missile cruiser, USS Princeton, is assisting in the search operation
  • USS Nimitz has been operating just outside the Persian Gulf since late July

A search and rescue mission is underway in the North Arabian Sea for a sailor who went missing from a U.S. Navy ship.

The unnamed sailor assigned to USS Nimitz was not located during a search aboard the aircraft carrier and was reported missing Sunday.

"The sailor was not located upon a search onboard which resulted in a man overboard being called and the activation of the search and rescue," Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a 5th Fleet spokesperson told ABC News.

USS Nimitz and the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton are currently steering the search and rescue operations, a Sunday statement from the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet said.

"The sailor has been listed as duty status whereabouts unknown (DUSTWUN) onboard Nimitz," the statement read. "The sailor’s name is being held in accordance with U.S. Navy policy."

The search parties continued their rescue mission even after sundown. "Updates will be provided as they become available," the statement added.

The vessel began its deployment from San Diego to the Pacific and the Middle East in late April and has been operating just outside the Persian Gulf since late July.

Nimitz was the first carrier to implement precautions and procedures to staunch the spread of the virus since the COVID-19 outbreak. Almost 5,000 sailors underwent a 27-day mandatory quarantine period and were tested for COVID-19 before getting on board to ensure they were healthy and ready to conduct operations at sea, the NavyTimes reported.

Named after World War II Pacific fleet commander Chester W. Nimitz, this nuclear-powered multi-mission aircraft carrier homeported in Bremerton, Washington, is now the oldest American aircraft vessel in active service.

This is not the first time a sailor was reported missing in the Arabian sea. In July 2019, Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Slayton Richard Saldana, a 5th Fleet sailor from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, went missing in the Arabian Sea.

After two days of rigorous search, it was assumed he had gone overboard. The search and rescue effort for Saldana officially ended and the navy changed the duty status of the sailor to deceased.

The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Choules sails amid heavy smoke off the coast of Mallacoota, Victoria state to assist in bushfire relief efforts
Representational image. ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY / Helen FRANK
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