Published: Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 9:56 AM
By: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
— A sailor, whose disappearance from a naval ship off the coast of Japan last week sparked a days-long search and presumptions that the man had fallen overboard, has been found alive aboard the ship.
The U.S. 7th Fleet said Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Peter Mims, 23, was found Thursday, one week after he vanished from the USS Shiloh as the ship was 180 miles east of Okinawa, Japan.
The circumstances surrounding Mims’ disappearance remained under investigation Thursday. Citing unidentified sources familiar with the situation, the Navy Times reported that Mims apparently hid in one of the ship’s engine rooms.
He will be transferred to the USS Ronald Reagan for a medical evaluation.
Mims’ disappearance triggered a multinational search.
The U.S. Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japanese Coast Guard spent more than 50 hours combing 5,500 square miles of the Philippine Sea in search of Mims. The search was suspended on June 11, although crewmembers on the Shiloh continued to look for the missing sailor.
“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,” said Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander of Carrier Strike Group 5 and Task Force 70. “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.”
Mims, who has ties to Putnam County, Florida, according to WOKV, enlisted in the Navy in February 2014. He reported to the Shiloh in August 2014.
Officials said he had earned a number of awards, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon and the Sea Service Ribbon. He was last promoted in August 2015.