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USS Nimitz Mourns Loss of Sailor After Accident While In Port Naval Air Station North Island

A memorial is being planned for sometime after the carrier returns to its home port in Bremerton.

SAN DIEGO (Dec. 05,2017) The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) returns from deployment to Naval Air Station North Island. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific. The U.S. Navy has patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific region routinely for more than 70 years promoting peace security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Recruit Jeffery L. Southerland/Released)

During a short port visit to Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI), a Sailor aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) died from injuries sustained after falling from one of the aircraft carrier’s lowered aircraft elevators Sept. 27.

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Official Navy Photo of LSSN Garcia-Herrera

21 year-old Logistics Specialist Seaman Juan Jose Garcia-Herrera of Chicago was transported by emergency services to University of California San Diego Regional Trauma Center where they administered treatment. Garcia Herrera passed away at approximately 2:00 am Sept. 28.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have had to say goodbye to one of our shipmates. Our thoughts and prayers are with Juan Jose Garcia-Herrera’s family and friends as they grieve their loss. He will be remembered aboard Nimitz as a young man who adhered to, and personified, the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment.” said Ens. Bill Petkovski, Nimitz Deputy Public Affairs Officer.

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According to Nimitz Public Affairs, Garcia-Herrera had been assigned to the Nimitz in June 2017 and deployed with them in support of Operation Inherent Resolve later that year.

Sailors transfer simulated patients from an aircraft elevator to the hangar bay during a mass casualty drill aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant G. Grady/Released)

“NIMITZ is homeported in Washington, but was in town after an at-sea training period for crew liberty and maintenance.” said Cmdr. Ron Flanders, spokesman for Naval Air Forces. Nimitz spent almost 12 years home-ported at NASNI from 2001 through 2012 at which time the carrier relocated to Bremerton, Washington.

PACIFIC OCEAN (June 29, 2019) The aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) conducts flight operations. Nimitz is currently under way performing routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Keenan Daniels/Released)

A memorial is being planned for sometime after the carrier returns to its home port in Bremerton. The loss of a crew member affects the entire team onboard a ship and services are offered to help with the grieving process. The accident is still under investigation to determine the cause.


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Jeannie Groeneveld
Jeannie is a recently retired Naval Officer whose first duty station brought her to Coronado in 1998.  A Navy Helicopter Pilot for 10 years and a Public Affairs Officer for 11 years, the Navy afforded her many incredible opportunities to serve her country in unique ways while seeing the world.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to:


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