Marine Dies in Surfing Accident Near Okinawa’s Ikei Island
A Marine assigned to a logistics battalion with the Japan-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit died in a surfing accident Sunday, officials announced Monday morning.
The member of Combat Logistics Battalion 31 was on liberty with five other Marines near Okinawa’s Ikei Island when he or she went missing, a news release from the 31st MEU states. The Marine, whose identity has not been released pending family notification, was separated from the others and went missing at about 2:40 p.m.
The other Marines contacted local authorities and the Japanese Coast Guard. The Marine was found unresponsive about two hours after going missing and was transported by ambulance to Nakagami Hospital.
The Marine was pronounced dead Sunday night. The victim’s remains were then transported to Naval Hospital Okinawa at Camp Foster, officials said in the release.
Military officials are investigating the accident, it adds. No additional details about the incident were immediately released.
Ikei Island is a popular swimming, jet skiing and camping spot east of central Okinawa. It’s accessible by bridge and features a white sand beach and clear waters, but sections of the Ikei Island chain are listed among the most dangerous water spots in Okinawa.
This is the second fatal surfing accident involving Marines in about seven months.
In August, 1st Lt. Clark Perkins, a 25-year-old student pilot with Marine Aviation Training Support Group-22, was on liberty when a wave pushed him into the rocks while he was surfing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was rushed to Corpus Christi Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Perkins’ commanding officer called his death a tremendous loss to the Marine Corps.
“He was a rising star in the naval aviation community,” said Col. William Donnelly with Marine Aviation Training Support Group-22.
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