A Naval Academy Midshipman Has Died, the Second in Two Months
The Naval Academy in Maryland reported on Sunday that a midshipman had fallen while hiking in Chile the day before and been found dead. This was the second student death at the academy in as many months.
According to a statement released by the United States Naval Academy, 21-year-old Midshipman 2nd Class Luke Gabriel Bird of New Braunfels, Texas, died while hiking. Bird, was studying abroad at the Naval Academy of Chile.
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A Naval Academy Midshipman Died
On Saturday, while hiking with a student from Chile’s Arturo Prat Naval Academy, Bird lost his footing and fell over the edge of the Salto El Agua waterfall, the academy reported. On Sunday, authorities in Chile located Bird’s body in the lagoon below the waterfall.
Midshipman Travis Delgado, a friend of Bird’s and a fellow Texan, said in the statement, “It is hard to find the words to summarise who Luke was, so instead, I find it appropriate to talk about his actions.”
Bird, a junior at the Naval Academy, majored in ocean engineering, participated in intramural sports, and was an active member of the Semper Fi Society.
Navy Vice Admiral Sean Buck said in a statement, “We are incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Midshipman Luke Bird this weekend.”
To which Buck added, “I encourage all of our Naval Academy family to offer support to one another as we navigate the grieving process.”
According to the Naval Academy, Bird captained the wrestling team as a junior and senior.
Bird was the vice president of the National Honor Society at New Braunfels High School and the battalion commander of the school’s Marine Corps Junior ROTC programme, among many other extracurricular activities and interests.
Students, faculty, and staff at the Naval Academy have access to grief counselling and other support services through the Midshipmen Development Center, the Chaplain’s Center, and the chain of command.
Funeral plans for Bird have not yet been finalised. The U.S. Naval Academy has issued a statement promising to provide updates as new information becomes available.
According to the Naval Academy, on June 7 Midshipman Taylor Connors, 24, of Utah, passed away in Philadelphia with his family by his side.
The school claimed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Connors’ death.
Connors was a group commander and was in charge of more than 250 junior officers. In addition to being a Boy Scout and a member of the National Honor Society, he was also a soccer player. He enlisted in 2016 and just recently reported to Annapolis.
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