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By Ryan Pickrell
A missing sailor presumed to have fallen overboard has turned up alive … and onboard his ship, the U.S. Navy reports.
Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Peter Mims was reported missing and assumed overboard on June 8, when his ship, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh, was conducting routine operations 180 miles east of Okinawa, Japan, according to a recent U.S. Seventh Fleet press release.
The U.S. Navy, together with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japanese Coast Guard, spent 50 hours carrying out a comprehensive search of 5,500 square miles of the Philippine Sea. The search was suspended on June 11, but the crew aboard the Shiloh continued searching for Mims.
Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from the USS Ronald Reagan, Navy maritime patrol aircraft, and destroyers participated in the search for Mims along with two Japanese Coast Guard ships and a MSDF vessel.
The sailor was discovered alive on the ship, hiding in the engine room, according to the Navy Times. His week-long disappearance is under investigation.
“We are thankful to have found our missing shipmate and appreciate all the hard work of our Sailors and Japanese partners in searching for him,” Rear Adm. Charles Williams, Commander for Carrier Strike Group 5 and Task Force 70, said, according to a separate Seventh Fleet press release from Thursday.
“I am relieved that this Sailor’s family will not be joining the ranks of Gold Star Families that have sacrificed so much for our country,” he added.
Mims enlisted in the Navy in February 2014, the Navy Times reports. His service aboard the Shiloh began in August that same year. Mims has earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon, and Sea Service Ribbon. He was advanced to third class petty officer in August 2015.