Published: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 @ 4:45 PM
By: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
— A sailor whose disappearance from a U.S. Navy vessel last month launched a days-long search amid fears he had fallen overboard could face discharge after he was found hiding in the ship’s engine room, according to multiple reports.
Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Peter Mims, 23, appeared to have vanished June 8 from the USS Shiloh as the vessel was 180 miles east of Okinawa, Japan.
He was found one week later, hiding in one of the ship’s engine rooms, Navy Times reported.
Mims admitted last week during an admiral’s mast that his disappearance was “intentional, and that he took steps to try to avoid being found by the other Shiloh sailors who were actively trying to locate him,” during an admiral’s mast, Lt. Paul Newell, spokesman for the U.S. 7th Fleet, told Navy Times.
He was charged with violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including abandoning watch and dereliction of duty, Stars and Stripes reported.
Navy officials declined to discuss Mims’ possible punishment for the violations, although Navy Times reported that he could face discharge.
“We are not disclosing any of the punitive actions taken against him,” Newell told Navy Times. "However, I can say that Mims is facing possible further administrative action."
Citing the Manual for Courts-Martial, Stars and Stripes reported that Mims could face a maximum of a “bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and confinement for six months.”
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.
Mims is from Putnam County, Florida, and was assigned to the Shiloh in 2014