Investigators were trying to determine on Sunday why a Navy SEAL candidate died and another was hospitalized after completing “Hell Week” SEAL training.
Both sailors were rushed to San Diego area hospitals on Friday, several hours after their basic underwater demolition course successfully completed part of the first phase of the assessment and SEAL selection, the Navy said.
Training to become a SEAL begins with a comprehensive 26-week training program, according to the SEAL website.
“Each week of increasingly challenging workouts are designed to help you build the strength and endurance needed to withstand the rigors of Navy SEAL,” the website states.
Becoming a SEAL involves physical and psychological strength as well as skills in the water and leadership skills. More than half of the contestants usually fail to complete the grueling week in hell.
The cause of death is unknown and under investigation, the Navy said.
1 DEAD SEAL CANDIDATE: Another hospitalized after Hell Week test
The social media traffic prompted a few questions about the vaccination, but most of the traffic was condolences.
“RIP budding frogman,” tweeted Mark Irons, Navy Retired. “If it was safe and easy, anyone could do it…”
A Navy retiree with the Twitter handle Master Chief Gonzo: “God Speed young man.”
Sailors were not actively training when they reported being sick, the Navy said. One candidate died at Sharp Coronado Hospital in Coronado, and the other was in stable condition at Naval Medical Center in San Diego.
The deceased sailor’s family has been notified and the Navy has announced that his name will be released soon.
The last SEAL candidate to die during the assessment phase was Seaman James Derek Lovelace, 21, in 2016. He was struggling to walk on water at full speed in a giant swimming pool when his instructor pushed him under water at least twice. He lost consciousness and died.
The San Diego County medical examiner initially ruled Lovelace’s death a homicide, but the Navy declined to pursue criminal charges. An autopsy revealed that Lovelace had an enlarged heart which contributed to his death.
Contribute: The Associated Press