First sailor on coronavirus-hit aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt dies

A sailor infected with COVID-19 aboard the US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) passed away, the navy confirmed.

The sailor was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the US Naval Hospital Guam on April 9 and died of coronavirus-related complications on April 13.

He has been identified as Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, of Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Thacker, who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30, was removed from the ship and placed in an isolation house on Naval Base Guam with four other USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors.

On April 9, he was found unresponsive during a daily medical check. While Naval Base Guam emergency responders were notified, CPR was administered by fellow sailors and onsite medical team in the house.

The sailor was transferred to US Naval Hospital Guam and moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Thacker was declared deceased on April 13.

Around 92 percent of the USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmembers had been tested for COVID-19, with 585 positive and 3,921 negative results, the navy said in an update on April 13.

Around 4,021 sailors have moved ashore so far.

Earlier this month, the ship’s commanding officer Capt. Brett Crozier was fired after publicly urging the navy to engage more in preventing the spread of the pandemic aboard the vessel and protecting the lives of sailors. His removal has been publicly criticized and the navy launched an investigation into the actions surrounding the aircraft carrier and Crozier’s firing.

USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Guam March 27 for a scheduled port visit for resupply and crew rest. Over the next few days, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged.

NOTE: The article has been amended since its initial publishing with the name of the deceased sailor.


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