For 50 hours, the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet and Japanese Coast Guard and naval forces frantically searched for Gas Turbine Systems Technician 3rd Class Peter Mims — a sailor who went missing from the USS Shiloh.
Now, more than a week later, Mims has been found alive, hiding in the engine room, Navy Times first reported on Thursday. How he survived there for seven days is a mystery, but we’re willing to bet MREs and piss bottles were involved.
When they couldn’t find him on June 8, the crew of the USS Shiloh presumed Mims fell overboard and ordered a massive search-and-rescue party.
Aircraft from the USS Ronald Reagan along with destroyers USS John S. McCain and USS McCampbell assisted Shiloh and the Japanese Navy in a comprehensive search of roughly 5,500 square miles of ocean, according to a statement from the 7th Fleet. But the Navy called off the search on June 11 after the mission proved unable in finding Mims.
“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, commander, Carrier Strike Group 5 and Task Force 70 said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”
The circumstances by which he managed to hide out in the engine room are now under investigation. The Navy did not divulge Mims’ condition, but he is being flown off the Shiloh for evaluation.
Task & Purpose reached out to the 7th Fleet for a comment. We will update as more information becomes available.