James Lovelace: “Navy SEAL candidate” dies during water training

James Lovelace: Navy SEAL candidate dies during water training
James Lovelace: Navy SEAL candidate dies during water training

James Lovelace, A 21-year-old Navy SEAL student from Florida died during his first week of underwater demolition training in California, the U.S. Navy said.

James Lovelace was pulled from a pool at Naval Base Coronado last Friday during a training exercising called “drown proofing,” in which prospective SEALs tread water while in uniform and wearing a diving mask, according to the Navy.

The Florida resident, who joined the Navy six months ago, died at a hospital. According to the Navy, he is survived by his father and two sisters.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of (Seaman) Lovelace,” said Capt. Jay Hennessey, commander 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,” Hennessy said. “He will be sorely missed. We share in his family’s grief from this great loss.”

The Navy said the exercise is performed during the first week of training “to assess and develop students’ competency, confidence and safety in the water.”

The Virginian-Pilot and NBC News were the first to report the death.

It is the second death in a week to affect Coronado Navy SEALS. Last Tuesday, May 3, SEAL Charles “Charlie” H. Keating IV was killed in combat with Islamic State of Iraq.