Navy SEAL Candidate Dies During Pool Exercise on First Week of Training

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A 21-year-old Navy SEAL candidate died during his first week of basic training in California, authorities said.

Seaman James Derek Lovelace of Crestview, Florida, died Friday after taking part in underwater demolition training in Coronado, California.

Safety observers noticed he was having problems during the water familiarization exercise and pulled him out of the pool, the Navy said in a statement Tuesday.

“He was aided to the edge of the pool by instructors where he then lost consciousness. Resuscitation efforts and first aid at the scene were unsuccessful,” the Navy said.

The pool exercise involves treading water and swimming in dive masks and camouflage uniform. Trainees take part in the exercise on their first week to determine their competency and confidence in the water, the Navy said.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of SN Lovelace,” said Capt. Jay Hennessey, commanding officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center.

“Though Derek was very new to our community, he selflessly answered his nation’s call to defend freedom and protect this country.”

An investigation is underway.

Lovelace’s death during training comes days after another SEAL died in an unrelated incident.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Charles Keating IV was killed during an attack by ISIS fighters in Iraq on May 3.

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