US Navy calls of search for missing USS Lake Erie sailor

US Navy file photo of Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Erie

The US Navy has called off the search for a sailor who was reported missing from cruiser USS Lake Erie on August 19.

Navy and Coast Guard assets suspended search and rescue operations in the eastern Pacific Ocean at sunset, August 22, after an extensive four-day search.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the sailor’s family during this difficult time,” said Capt. Christine O’Connell, commanding officer of Lake Erie. “Losing a shipmate is devastating and felt by our entire crew. We will continue to support the family in any way we can.”

The Lake Erie initiated man overboard procedures August 19, at approximately 7 a.m. local time after the sailor failed to report for duty and several attempts to locate the sailor aboard the ship were unsuccessful.

Seven US Navy ships along with multiple Navy and US Coast Guard (USCG) aircraft, including Navy MH-60 helicopters and E-2 Hawkeye, Coast Guard C-27 Spartans and MH-60 Jayhawk, and a US Customs and Border Patrol aircraft flew more than 140 sorties, searching more than 16,550 square nautical miles of open water. Lake Erie served as on-scene commander and USCG District 11 as mission coordinator throughout the operation.

The ship was conducting routine training operations with John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG) in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Officials did not identify the missing sailor but media reports said an Atlanta woman, Alicia McCalla, posted a video on Facebook in which she said her son, Lt. j.g. Asante McCalla, was the missing sailor.

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