Navy official: 3 sailors assigned to USS George HW Bush died by suicide within a week


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — U.S. Navy officials say three sailors assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush have died by suicide within the last week and a half.

Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, a public affairs officer with the Navy, confirmed the three sailors were found dead in separate incidents at off-base locations between Sept. 14 and Sept. 19. The sailors did not serve in the same departments.

Authorities in Portsmouth and Norfolk are investigating the sailors’ deaths with assistance from NCIS, Cragg said.

Cragg said five sailors assigned to USS George H.W. Bush have died by suicide since November 2017.

Capt. Sean Bailey, commanding officer of the USS George H.W. Bush, addressed the sailors’ deaths in a post on the ship’s Facebook page Monday.

Bailey said in the post that “chaplains, psychologists, counselors and leadership” are available on board the ship to help those who are grieving.

He also asked for crew members to watch closely for stressors someone may be experiencing due to a life-changing event, including a personal loss, relationship problems or financial difficulties.

The post asked for people to continue respecting “the privacy of the families during this difficult time.”

Speculating or spreading false stories is not helpful and disrespectful of the families and crewmates who are suffering from these losses.

Capt. Sean Bailey, commanding officer of the USS George H.W. Bush

The Bush is currently at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth as a part of a 28-month Docking Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA) that started in February.

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