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US Navy says ‘bright’ Henderson County sailor ‘lost overboard’ in Baltic Sea

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A 19-year-old United States Navy sailor was pronounced lost overboard while operating in the Baltic Sea.

Navy officials identified the sailor as Seaman Recruit David L. Spearman who fell overboard the USS Arleigh Burke, a guided-missile destroyer, near Helsinki, Finland, on Aug. 1.

The family of the North Carolina native also confirmed Aug. 3 that Spearman was the missing sailor.

Spearman graduated from Naval boot camp in 2022 and had been deployed on the USS Arleigh Burke, according to ABC News 13.

The United States Fleet Forces Command issued a statement on their website on Thursday:

“The U.S. Navy identified the Sailor assigned to USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) lost overboard while operating in the Baltic Sea August 1, as North Carolina native Seaman Recruit David L. Spearman.”

The Navy called off its search and rescue for the young sailor on Tuesday.

USS Arleigh Burke Commanding Officer Cmdr. Pete Flynn thanked the Swedish and German Navies, along with the U.S. Air Force and Sailors from Arleigh Burke “for their extensive efforts to search for our shipmate.”

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