USA: Sailors from MDSU Die while Conducting Dive Operations (UPDATE)

Navy Diver 1st Class James Reyher, 28, of Caldwell, Ohio, and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris, 23, of Gladstone, Mo., died while conducting dive operations at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Md., Feb. 26.

Harris and Reyher were assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, located at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Ft. Story.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our teammates.” said Capt. John Coffey, Deputy Commander, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Group 2. “Petty Officer Harris and Petty Officer Reyher were exceptional Sailors. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and shipmates during this difficult time.”

Harris enlisted in the Navy June 13, 2007 and graduated from Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill. in August 2007. Harris successfully completed dive training at the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla. and was designated a Navy diver in April 2008. He served at Navy Submarine Support Facility in New London, Conn. from May 2008-June 2011, before reporting to MDSU-2 in June 2011.

Reyher enlisted in the Navy May 28, 2008 and graduated from Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Ill. in July 2008. Reyher successfully completed dive training at the Navy Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Fla. and was designated a Navy diver in February 2009. He served at Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pacific Northwest from March 2009-April 2012 before reporting to MDSU-2 in April 2012.

“Ryan and James epitomized the unsung hero persona of the Navy diver. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve with them,” said Cmdr. Michael Runkle, commanding officer, MDSU-2. “We are all deeply saddened by their loss and are focusing on supporting their families during this time of need.”

EODGRU-2 is conducting an investigation into the deaths of the Sailors.

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Naval Today Staff, March 1, 2013

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