Marine Lost Overboard from Amphibious Ship Identified as Helicopter Crew Chief

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) transits the Arabian Gulf. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean P. Gallagher)
The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) transits the Arabian Gulf. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean P. Gallagher)

Military officials on Saturday identified the Marine believed fallen overboard and lost at sea south of the Philippines last week.

Cpl. Jonathan Currier was onboard the amphibious assault ship Essex, deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Pendleton, officials said in a news release.

He was reported missing at 9:40 a.m. on Aug. 9, prompting a five-day search and rescue operation that was called off on Tuesday.

The Marines officially declared Currier dead on Thursday.

Currier was a Super Stallion helicopter crew chief assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, according to the release.

Officials said Currier was a New Hampshire native who enlisted in the Marines in 2015 and graduated from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina that year.

"Our hearts go out to the Currier family," Col. Chandler Nelms, commanding officer, 13th MEU said in a statement. "Cpl. Currier's loss is felt by our entire ARG/MEU family, and he will not be forgotten."

The Essex is home ported at Naval Base San Diego. It left San Diego with its complement of Marines July 10.

The Essex was conducting routine operations when Currier disappeared, officials said. The ship was searched inside while the ocean search involved the U.S. Navy, Philippine and U.S. Coast Guards.

More than 110 aerial sorties covered about 13,000 square nautical miles in the Sulu Sea, Mindanao Sea and Surigao Straight.

"All of our Marines and sailors demonstrated a tremendous resilience and put forth an extraordinary effort over the past five days," Nelms said when the search was halted. "Our thoughts and prayers have been and will continue to be with our Marine's family during this difficult time."

The circumstances of the incident are under investigation, the Marines said.

This article is written by Pauline Repard from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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