Navy SEAL instructor reassigned following sailor’s death

James Derek Lovelace (US Navy)

Following the death of a SEAL trainee, a Navy SEAL training instructor has been temporarily reassigned, a spokesman for the Navy confirmed to CNN.

“I can confirm that an instructor was assigned to duties not related to training,” Naval Special Warfare Center spokesman Lt. Trevor Davids told CNN.

James Derek Lovelace of Crestview, Fla., died on May 6th during a water familiarization exercise at a base in Coronado, California.

According to CNN, the identity of the instructor and the reassignment position have not been released.

“We are fully cooperating with the NCIS investigation, and the ongoing Navy safety investigation into this training fatality. It would be premature to discuss any details until those investigations are complete‎,” Davids said.

The NCIS is investigating Lovelace’s death, in which the Washington Post reported that drowning was the official cause of death.

“Despite a successful track record, any loss of life drives us to ensure we are doing everything possible to make training safe and effective. In the wake of the recent suicide we have acknowledged opportunities to improve out-process and recovery procedures for students who disenrolled – specifically improving accountability for sleep-deprived Sailors. Although extremely rare, any training death is subjected to an external NCIS and internal command and safety investigations. The results of these inquires inform training policies and procedures,” Capt. Jay Hennessey, commanding officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center, said in a statement.


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