A Navy SEAL trainee drowned after an instructor repeatedly dunked him underwater, violating training guidelines and contributing to the sailor’s death, according to a San Diego medical examiner’s report released Wednesday that called the incident a homicide.
Seaman James Derek Lovelace died May 6 following a pool exercise at the grueling SEAL basic training course in Coronado. The Navy didn’t announce the death until days later after officials were questioned by The Virginian-Pilot and NBC News. Navy officials initially described the incident as a training mishap during a routine exercise. But numerous sources told NBC News and The Pilot that the death had been caused by an instructor going too far.
The medical examiner’s report agreed: “It is our opinion that the actions, and inactions, of the instructors and other individuals involved were excessive and directly contributed to the death, and the manner of death is best classified as homicide.”
Read The Virginian-Pilot