Navy Identifies Missing Sailor as Search Enters Third Day

  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher W. Clavin (Courtesy of Clavin Family)
    Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher W. Clavin (Courtesy of Clavin Family)
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher W. Clavin (Courtesy of the Clavin Family)
    Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher W. Clavin (Courtesy of the Clavin Family)

As the Navy passes the 48-hour mark in an all-out search for a sailor who went overboard off the cruiser Normandy, officials publicly identified him for the first time.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher W. Clavin went overboard June 6 while the Normandy was underway near Cherry Point, North Carolina. According to information Clavin's mother, Theresa Iafrate, provided to the Providence Journal, the sailor is 23 and a graduate of Lincoln High School in his hometown of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Released records show Clavin enlisted in July 2012 and reached his current rank Dec. 16. The Normandy was his first duty assignment after receiving training at the Center for Surface Combat Systems -- first in Great Lakes, Illinois, and then in Dam Neck, Virginia. During this training, he became qualified as an enlisted surface warfare specialist.

He was assigned to the Normandy in December 2013.

"Every Navy and Coast Guard member participating in this operation is dedicated to finding our lost shipmate. Our thoughts are with Petty Officer Clavin and his family during this difficult time," Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Fleet Forces Command, Lt. Cmdr. Brian Wierzbicki, said in a statement Thursday that crew aboard the Normandy saw Clavin fall into the water around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

The Navy quickly assembled a wide-ranging search-and-rescue effort involving the carrier Abraham Lincoln and four embarked MH-60 helicopters; the Coast Guard medium endurance cutter Forward; and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Bainbridge, The Sullivans, and Mason.

Wierzbicki said many additional Coast Guard and Navy aircraft have also participated in the search.

In the 48 hours of continuous searching since Clavin fell overboard, the search assets have covered about 2,500 square miles, Wierzbicki said.

The search is ongoing, and no determination has been made about Clavin's status.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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