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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.