The U.S. Navy has identified an American sailor who went missing from a warship last week in Japan's southern waters.
The Navy said on Tuesday that Peter Mims of Interlachen, Florida, is believed to have fallen into the sea from the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh during routine operations Thursday about 290 kilometers (180 miles) east of Okinawa.
The search was suspended Sunday after more than 50 hours of effort by the U.S. and Japanese navies and Japan's coast guard failed to find him.
Those who knew the sailor describe him as friendly, selfless, and a lover of Japanese animation.
“He wanted to make sure everybody was taken care of,” said Cassie Blacklidge of Interlachen. “He always put everybody before himself.”
Loved ones say Mims joined the ROTC in junior high school and always dreamed of being in the Navy. Mims expected to finish his Navy tour in six months. Blacklidge said her daughter and Mims were junior high sweethearts and were married for three years before separating six months ago. She said the two remained friends.
“It’s crazy, I never thought anything like that would happen,” said Blacklidge. “I don’t see Peter just going overboard, he didn’t really like going on the sides of the ship, he was very cautious.”
Mims’ family hopes the full investigation will help explain what happened.
The Navy said in a statement that an investigation is underway.
Mims enlisted in 2014 and reported to the Shiloh in August that year.
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