After prompting a massive search of the sea area off the coast of Japan, the missing US Navy sailor was discovered in the engine room of his ship has been relocated to a brig in San Diego this week ahead of potential court-martial charges, as reported by The Navy Times.
The soldier who was employed upon the USS Shiloh, Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Peter, was discovered more than seven days prior after it was reported that he was missing while a routine operation using the guided missile cruiser was being conducted off the coast of Okinawa. This report triggered a search and rescue effort that was conducted over a wide range for more than 50 hours. It was presumed that he was lost at sea somewhere near Japan.
They Thought He Was Dead
“I just can’t believe he’s gone,” Amy James, the sister of Mims, said to CBS affiliate WJAX. “Is this real? Is this a nightmare?” But refusing to believe the worst, she further added: “He’s still alive, he’s got to be fighting for his life.”
On June 8, Mims was reported as missing, and the search was suspended on June 11 at midnight even though the crew of the Shiloh continued to search for him aboard the ship. It had been reported by Navy officials that the sailor fell overboard.
“The decision to suspend the search was not arrived at lightly,” Rear Adm. Charles Williams reported in a news release. “Our thoughts are with our lost shipmate, his family, and the officers and crew of USS Shiloh.”
The Search Was Far And Wide
Fixed wing aircraft’s and helicopters aboard the Ronald Reagan carrier, in addition to a Navy P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, the John S. McCain and McCampbell destroyers, along with the Reagan carrier itself, also part in the search for the supposedly endangered sailor, as reported in a statement released during the search from U.S. 7th Fleet.
While combing through more than 5,500 miles of water just off the coast of Japan, the Japanese Coast Guard Kudaka helped out in the search, along with a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship and an additional Japanese Coast Guard ship. Mim’s sister waited, mostly for answers, but in hopes for good news
While many officials aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet declined to give an immediate comment on Thursday, Mims was presumed dead after his disappearance. “Me and my family just want some peace,” Amy James said to WJAX.
But All Along He Was Alive And Hiding
But in an unexpected turn of events, after a week going by with thoughts of him turning into a memory, Mims was discovered in the engineering space of the ship, and according to an email from Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, Mims turned himself into his shipmates.
At that time, the reason why Mims was in the engine room of the ship hiding, and how he was able to survive a full week there, remained unknown.
“We do not know all the details and motivations behind this Sailor’s week-long disappearance,” Pacific Fleet spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight explained to The Navy Times. “This matter remains under investigation, but early indications are that he had taken steps to avoid being found by other Sailors, who were actively attempting to locate him.”
In a statement posted on the website belonging to the 7th Fleet, the strike group commander aboard the Reagan was reportedly relieved when the sailor was found.
“We are thankful to have found our missing shipmate and appreciate all the hard work of our Sailors and Japanese partners in searching for him,” Rear Adm. Charles Williams said. “I am relieved that this Sailor’s family will not be joining the ranks of Gold Star Families that have sacrificed so much for our country.”
When the news spread around on Thursday, announcing that Mims was alive, his sister James, along with family members, were relieved. In a statement to WJAX, she said, “I would love to go see him and wrap my arms around him and never let go.” Mims’ sister “wouldn’t comment on her brother’s mental or physical health,” the station announced. She told the reporters that her brother “just wants his rest and privacy.”
Mims joined the Navy in February 2014, according to information obtained from the branch of service, and since August 2014, he had been serving aboard Shiloh. The Gas Turbine Systems Technician’s on record is reportedly listed as Interlachen, Florida. In August 2015, he was promoted to a petty officer third class, as reported in the release. Among his awards included the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Sea Service Ribbon as well as The Navy-Marine Corps Oversees and Service Ribbon.
After being remained aboard the ship for more than a week, Mims was removed from the Shiloh and transferred to the San Diego Marine Corps Air Station Miramar brig, and according to U.S. Pacific Fleet officials, he was moved to face pretrial confinement for potential court-martial charges.
Before his transfer to the Miramar brig, Mims was examined by medical staff, while still aboard the Reagan, and interviewed by investigators, as stated by Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight in his email. Those investigators will conduct an ongoing investigation that would presumably include by the end of the summer, Knight added.