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Lost US Sailor Found Alive on Ship in Philippine Sea

FILE - The USS Shiloh (CG-67) is docked at a port along Subic Bay, north of Manila, Philippines, May 30, 2015.

A U.S. Navy sailor who prompted a multinational search after going missing last week has been found alive aboard his own ship.

"He was located in an engineering space," Navy spokesman Lt. Loren Terry told VOA on Thursday. "The circumstances are under investigation."

Navy officials said Gas Turbine Systems Technician 3rd Class Peter Mims disappeared June 8 while working on the guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh as it conducted operations in the Philippine Sea about 465 kilometers east of Okinawa, Japan.

Gas Turbine Systems Technician 3rd Class Peter Mims
Gas Turbine Systems Technician 3rd Class Peter Mims

The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, which operates in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean, said U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft searched for the sailor, presumed to have fallen overboard, for 50 hours. The search covered roughly 14,245 square kilometers of the Philippine Sea.

Officials suspended the ocean search Sunday, but USS Shiloh crew members continued to search the vessel.

"We are thankful to have found our missing shipmate and appreciate all the hard work of our sailors and Japanese partners in searching for him," said Rear Adm. Charles Williams, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 5. "I am relieved that this sailor's family will not be joining the ranks of Gold Star Families that have sacrificed so much for our country."

Mims has been transferred to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan for a medical evaluation, according to the 7th Fleet.

Carrier Strike Group 5 includes the USS Reagan, USS Shiloh and destroyers USS Barry, USS McCampbell, USS John S. McCain and USS Mustin, according to a Navy website.

Guided missile cruisers such as the USS Shiloh typically operate with about 350 people aboard ship.

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.