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Navy identifies submariner found dead after pierside fall

Jul. 8, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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The Navy is investigating the death of a 21-year-old sailor who apparently fell off a pierside submarine at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., on Saturday.

Sonar Technician (Submarine) Seaman Rolando Acosta was a crew member of the attack submarine Boise and was standing watch in port around noon when he fell overboard. His body was recovered later that day.

“He was spotted immediately by another watchstander,” said Lt. Tim Hawkins, spokesman for Submarine Group 2 in Groton, Conn., which oversees the Norfolk-based attack boat.

The unusual tragedy upended what should have been a slow holiday weekend in port on Boise, which was Acosta’s first sub. The Plainview, Texas, native enlisted in January 2012 and reported aboard Boise in December, the Navy said in a Monday press release.

“Seaman Acosta was a hardworking and highly valued shipmate,” said Cmdr. Scott Luers, the sub’s commanding officer, according to the release. “His presence will be missed by USS Boise and throughout the submarine force. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Much remains unclear about the on-duty tragedy, including why the sailor fell overboard and the cause of death.

“We just don’t have a lot of details at this point,” Hawkins said.

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