U.S. Navy Ends Search for Missing USS Nimitz Sailor in North Arabian Sea

By U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs | September 08, 2020

ARABIAN SEA (Sept. 8, 2020) - The U.S. Navy has ended search and rescue efforts for Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ian McKnight, assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68), who is believed to have gone overboard Sept. 6.

Following a thorough search of the ship and man overboard alert Sept. 6, Nimitz, guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton and aircraft from the U.S. Navy and Air Force conducted search and rescue operations in the North Arabian Sea where it was reported that McKnight was missing.

The search and rescue operations were concluded on Sept. 8, after extensive attempts to locate McKnight.

“We are deeply saddened as we call off the search for IT2 Ian McKnight,” said Capt. Max Clark, commanding officer of USS Nimitz. “We hold his family and friends in our hearts during this difficult time.”

McKnight remains listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN). Next of kin notification of McKnight’s DUSTWUN status has been completed.

“The strike group team sends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Petty Officer McKnight,” said Rear Admiral Jim Kirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group 11. “And I offer my thanks to all the Sailors and Airmen who were involved in the search for our shipmate.”

The incident remains under investigation. 

Nimitz is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 11 and is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three critical chokepoints to the free flow of global commerce.